04/01/2004 10:19 PM ET
Notes: Jenkins makes noisy return
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Geoff Jenkins likes to come back with a bang.
After being sidelined for a week with strep throat, Jenkins started Thursday's game as the Brewers' designated hitter and went 3-for-4 with two runs and four RBIs. His tie-breaking, three-run home run capped a five-run ninth inning and gave the Brewers a 9-6 win over the Anaheim Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
He made a similar return last year. After tearing up his ankle in June 2002 and beginning the regular season on the disabled list with a hand injury, Jenkins hit a two-run home run in his first game back, a 3-2 win over the Pirates on April 9.
"I don't know if it's just being excited to be back or what," Jenkins said.
The game-winning opportunity almost did not come. With the Brewers trailing, 6-4, entering the ninth inning, Jenkins had already had four plate appearances and manager Ned Yost planned to pinch-hit with minor league catcher Nestor Corredor, the last man left on the bench.
But the skipper kept his intentions to himself, just in case the Brewers rallied to give Jenkins a chance to win it. RBIs by minor leaguers Kennard Bibbs and Brandon Gemoll provided that opportunity, and Jenkins capitalized by hitting an outside fastball from right-hander Matt Hensley over the left-field fence.
In his first three plate appearances against Angels ace Bartolo Colon on Thursday, Jenkins walked in the first inning, hit an RBI single in the third and doubled and scored in the fifth. He also struck out swinging in the seventh.
"Having Bartolo throwing 100 [mph] out there, it's hard to get your timing back with that," Jenkins said. "Today, I just tried to shoot the ball the other way a little bit. I tried not to get too pull-happy.
"It just feels good to be back in there and get going again," Jenkins said. "Even when you're out for four or five days, man, it seems like an eternity. Plus, you want to get your feet wet again before the season."
Yost said Jenkins would serve as the team's DH again on Friday in a game against the Chicago White Sox in Tucson. He likely will play half of Saturday's Cactus League finale in left field.
"The most important thing is not him playing defense, it's him getting some at-bats," Yost said.
Line 'em up: Yost said he would continue to tinker with his batting order until Opening Day, but he appears to have settled on a few spots. Scott Podsednik is a lock to lead off, Lyle Overbay has been solid hitting third and Yost likes Jenkins in the cleanup spot.
The Nos. 2 and 5 hitters are the most intriguing spots still in question. Shortstop Craig Counsell has been batting second this week, making for an all-lefthanded top of the order until second baseman Junior Spivey, who's penciled into slot No. 5. Yost is considering left-handed Ben Grieve in the six-hole, followed by third baseman Wes Helms and catcher Chad Moeller.
Brewers preview: Fox Sports Net will debut a half-hour Brewers special on Friday night at 10 p.m. CT, or immediately following the Milwaukee Bucks-Cleveland Caviliers telecast. Encore performances are scheduled for April 4 (10:30 p.m. CT) and April 5 (2:30 p.m. CT, immediately before the team's season opener from St. Louis).
Hosted by Emmy-winning Brewers play-by-play announcer Daron Sutton and veteran game analyst Bill Schroeder, Brewers Ticket: A Season Preview features candid interviews with pitching coach Mike Maddux, general manager Doug Melvin, Podsednik and Yost. Whitefish Bay, Wisc., native Counsell will be profiled, and viewers will be treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of Spring Training with Sheets.
FSN will telecast 115 Brewers games, including the home opener against the Houston Astros on April 9 at 3 p.m. CT, this season.
Bring the heat: Sheets joined fastpitch softball star Jennie Finch at Maryvale Baseball Park on Thursday morning to tape a segment for This Week in Baseball. Sheets explained the mechanics of his curveball before getting a lesson on Finch's rising fastball. Both pitchers also gave demonstrations of their pickoff moves.
The segment will air on the Saturday morning program later this season.
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.