Weeks leads Brewers past Dodgers
Second baseman drives in three with four-hit night
LOS ANGELES -- Rickie Weeks said he couldn't stand to be away from the game. The Brewers were glad to have him back.Weeks returned to the top of the lineup after a four-day hiatus, set a career high with four hits, matched a career high with three RBIs and led the Brewers' offense to its second straight romp, a 9-5 win over the Dodgers on Monday in the opener of a weeklong trip to the West Coast. It got a bit closer than winning pitcher Jeff Suppan (6-4) and the Brewers would have liked. The Brewers right-hander took an 8-0 lead and a one-hit shutout into the bottom of the sixth inning but gave half of the lead back and never recorded the first out the seventh. But relievers Brian Shouse and Matt Wise escaped further damage, and the Brewers held on for their second straight win after a stretch that saw them lose seven of nine. "It felt good, period, playing after those four days off," said Weeks, who had not appeared since last Wednesday because of soreness in his surgically repaired right wrist. "I can't stand to be away from the game for a long period of time. The frustration builds up and I tried to get out there and play ball." Weeks had a hit in each of his first four at-bats and finished 4-for-5 to raise his average to .252. His four hits included an RBI single in the third inning and a two-run single in Milwaukee's five-run sixth. "He's got power, speed and he can hit a little bit. Those three things are pretty good to have," said first baseman Prince Fielder. "Any time he's out, we feel it a little bit." Fielder hit a pair of long home runs to tie teammate J.J. Hardy atop the National League leader board with 14, and Johnny Estrada also hit a homer as part of a 13-hit attack. That after finished with 12 hits in Sunday's win over the Twins. "It's just a funny game," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "You can be struggling and then all of a sudden, bam, you can do no wrong again. I don't know why it happens like that or what it is; it's just a marathon season." The Brewers surged to an early lead against starter Brett Tomko (1-5), who was tagged with five runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. Milwaukee scored five runs in the top of the sixth against Tomko and reliever Chad Billingsley, a rally that included a run-scoring single by Craig Counsell, his first RBI since April 24 and the first by a Brewers third baseman since May 1. Weeks followed two batters later with a two-run single that appeared to glance off Billingsley's shoulder, and Tony Gwynn Jr. followed that with a two-run double that made it 8-0. Fielded added a second homer in the ninth, a booming solo shot to right-center field. That tied him with Hardy, who was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts on Monday but was inches away from a first-inning home run that instead hooked foul. "I don't know how many feet of home runs [Fielder] hit tonight, but it was a lot of them," Yost said. Suppan (6-4) cruised into the sixth inning before six of the last eight Dodgers he faced hit safely, and he had to settle for a win that snapped a two-start losing streak. He lasted six-plus innings, allowed four runs on six hits and took a decision for the 10th time in as many starts this season. "I was still making pitches in the later part of the game, but they were pitches that they were able to drive and hit down the line," Suppan said. "It's just one of those things. It happens. Tonight was about our offense, they did what they did and our bullpen was able to come in and get some big outs. We got a big win." The Dodgers' lone hit through five innings was an infield single by Rafael Furcal in the first inning that Weeks fielded but couldn't get out of his glove, but Furcal sparked the Dodgers' comeback bid in the sixth inning with a one-out single. Did Suppan run out of gas? "You think?" Yost said sarcastically. "It just happened tonight that at 95 [pitches] or so he hit a little bit of a wall right there. He was really cruising and then started to labor. But he pitched very, very well to that point." Nomar Garciaparra hit an RBI single and scored on Jeff Kent's two-run home run in the sixth inning, and Andy LaRoche walked leading off the seventh before Suppan surrendered consecutive singles to Andre Ethier and pinch-hitter Wilson Betemit. Brewers lefty Shouse relieved Suppan and recorded the first out of the inning, and righty reliever Matt Wise struck out Furcal and retired Garciaparra on a groundout straight up the middle to Weeks, who was playing a dramatic shift. That escape act stranded Dodgers runners at second and third base. "I practice all kinds of throws, so that was no big deal," said Weeks, who was stationed directly behind second base on the play. "It was a big win for us. Now we've got to try to keep on rolling."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.