Rickie Weeks, the club’s promising first pick in the 2003 draft, did his part when he hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh to give the Brewers a come-from-behind 8-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
Lee, whose 72 RBIs leads the majors and is almost twice as much as the next best Milwaukee player, departed in the second inning with a left knee contusion.
He was injured skidding to a stop chasing a foul ball near the left-field foul line and appeared to bang his knee against the wall in the first inning.
Lee remained in the game and walked and scored in the bottom of the first. He was replaced by Chris Magruder to start the second inning with the Brewers ahead 3-1.
Brewers manager Ned Yost said that taking Lee out was simply the smart thing to do.
“When he got up and walked and then had to run around the bases on Miller’s double, it was just real sore running around the bases,” Yost said. “We wanted to get him out of there, get it iced, get it taken care of.
“It feels better, so he should be all right for tomorrow.”
Matt Wise (2-2) pitched 1 2-3 innings of scoreless relief for the victory.
Mark Redman (4-7) had been tough on the Brewers this season, but they got to him early on Friday night.
Redman then settled down and pitched five scoreless innings, protecting a 4-3 lead until the Brewers’ seventh.
“Mark gave a good performance, again,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said after his team dropped their 14th game in the last 18. “After giving up three runs in the first, he threw up zeros at them. He gave us a chance to win.”
In the seventh, Geoff Jenkins walked, advanced on a balk, and took third on J.J. Hardy’s bunt single and then scored on pinch-hitter Trent Durrington’s single. Rick White relieved Redman and got one out before Weeks hit his second home run since being called up on June 10.
“That was the back-breaker,” the Pirates’ Matt Lawton said. “It pretty much put it out of reach.”
McClendon said the balk, Redman’s second of the season, really hurt.
“After the balk call, things just fell apart,” McClendon said.
Redman went six innings, allowing six runs on six hits. He walked five and struck out three in his third straight loss.
He was 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in two previous starts against Milwaukee, including a 2-0 victory on May 15 at Pittsburgh.
Prince Fielder, Milwaukee’s other prized prospect along with Weeks, had an RBI single in the eighth to make it 8-4.
The Pirates chased Milwaukee starter Tomo Ohka with three runs on five hits in the sixth.
With the Pirates trailing 3-1, Lawton led off with a 442-foot home run to right-center that seemed to unsettle Ohka. Rob Mackowiak doubled with one out and advanced on Jason Bay’s single. Daryle Ward knocked in Mackowiak and Jose Castillo doubled to score Bay, ending Ohka’s night.
Wise came on and stranded runners at second and third. Then he retired the side in order in the seventh.
“Wise, to come in and hold them was another huge key to the ballgame,” Yost said.
Castillo also tripled and scored the Pirates’ first run.
Ohka made his fourth start since being acquired on June 10 from the Washington Nationals for Junior Spivey. He has not won since he threw a complete-game shutout in his Milwaukee debut against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on June 14.
Ohka allowed four runs on nine hits in 5 1-3 innings.
The Pittsburgh Pirates purchased the contract of top minor-league pitcher Zach Duke from Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday, and the left-hander is expected to make his major-league debut Saturday against Milwaukee. The 22-year-old Duke was 12-3 with a 2.92 ERA in 16 starts at Indianapolis, leading the International League in wins and innings pitched (108) at the time of his promotion. … Brewers RHP Ben Sheets became a minority partner in the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League on Friday. … The Pirates turned two double plays and the Brewers had four.