After proving they can compete with the NL wild-card leaders, the Milwaukee Brewers have less than three weeks to try and catch them.
The Brewers, coming off their second straight series win, still have a chance to make a run at a playoff spot as they open a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Milwaukee took two of three against the wild card-leading Houston Astros over the weekend, winning the finale 4-2 on Sunday.
The Brewers ended the series 5 1/2 games behind the Astros, who Milwaukee faces again in a three-game set in Houston this weekend. The Brewers have won six of nine.
Three rookies sparked the Brewers at the plate Sunday. J.J. Hardy singled and Prince Fielder walked to set up an RBI single by veteran Carlos Lee in the first inning. Rickie Weeks then gave the Brewers a 3-0 lead in the fourth with a two-run homer off Roy Oswalt.
“Look who did the damage,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “That’s where we’re at right now. We’ve got those kids and they’re producing.”
Weeks went 1-for-10 as the Brewers took two of three against the Cincinnati Reds last week, but was 5-for-10 with a home run, two doubles and five RBIs against the Astros.
“I’m feeling good,” Weeks said. “I’ve been hitting the ball but I couldn’t find a hole. Now I guess the holes are finding me.”
Arizona had a chance for a three-game sweep of Colorado, but lost 7-2 on Sunday.
The Diamondbacks missed an opportunity for a sweep for the second straight series. They won the first two games against Pittsburgh before losing the finale 8-7 in 12 innings Thursday.
“He’s tough to deal with, even for low-ball pitchers, because he’s such a good low-ball hitter,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said.
Diamondbacks shortstop Alex Cintron left the game after fouling a ball off his right foot in the sixth, but is expected to play Tuesday.