Brewers 4, Tigers 3
MILWAUKEE (AP)—Rickie Weeks might look lost in the infield sometimes, but his bat has kept him in the major leagues.
Weeks hit a two-run homer with two outs in the seventh inning, lifting Milwaukee to a 4-3 victory over Detroit and snapping the Tigers’ six-game winning streak.
“It was over the plate,” Weeks said. “You’ve got to do something to it.”
He did—just barely. Weeks’ seventh homer of the season came off fireballing Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya, landing just over the wall in left center field as outfielder Curtis Granderson tried to make a leaping catch.
Zumaya was disappointed he couldn’t bring home a victory for starter Nate Robertson, but he wasn’t exactly impressed by Weeks’ estimated 385-foot shot.
“I hate giving up a home run in that situation when a guy is pitching his tail off,” Zumaya said. “My role is to come in and get that guy out, and I gave up a little home run. Those are the ones that kill me, that barely go over. I’d rather have Weeks hit one 500 feet instead of a ball going 350 feet.”
Brewers manager Ned Yost said Weeks showed off his superior bat speed against what he called Zumaya’s “electric” stuff.
“Rickie’s got that type of bat speed that he can turn that around, and he did right there,” Yost said.
Weeks leads the majors with 20 errors at second base this season, leading to speculation that he would be better off working on his fielding in the minor leagues or switching positions. But Yost, who has preached patience with the 23-year-old, said he can see Weeks beginning to work his way out of his fielding problems too.
“Rickie’s been playing pretty good defense, so for me there’s not much of a debate,” Yost said.
Robertson gave up three runs—two earned—in 6 2-3 innings before giving up a pinch-hit single to Chris Barnwell, his first major league hit.
“That was a good feeling,” Barnwell said. “I definitely had some chills.”
Zumaya (3-1) came in and gave up the home run to Weeks, taking the loss.
“I don’t have any problem with a game like that, they earned it,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “We went with Zumaya, who has been fantastic, and the guy hit the ball over the fence. Give them credit. It’s not like we threw the game away.”
After missing out on the chance to sweep the Brewers, the Tigers will face serious tests with back-to-back home series against St. Louis and Houston following an off day Thursday.
“We had an excellent, excellent trip,” Leyland said. “Five out of six is fantastic. You always get greedy, it would have been great to sweep the trip.”
Weeks’ homer was the just the latest example of something that has been true for the Brewers all year, at least at home: When their pitchers are able to keep the game close, their hitters often find a way to pull out a victory.
The Brewers have come from behind in 21 of their 25 home victories this season.
“It was a great pitching performance by Chris Capuano to keep them in check for seven strong innings,” Yost said. “And then the offense took over.”
Capuano (8-4) struck out eight in seven innings, giving up three runs and seven hits. Derrick Turnbow had two strikeouts in a perfect ninth for his 21st save in 25 chances.
“The Tigers’ pitching staff is just outstanding,” Capuano said. “I knew runs were going to be at a premium, so every run you can keep off the board is big.”
The Tigers took an early lead, making up for two fielding errors with timely hitting by scoring each of their runs with two outs.
Milwaukee got a run back in the sixth when Lee reached first base on a bobbled ball error by shortstop Carlos Guillen. Lee eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Bill Hall to cut the Tigers’ lead to 3-2.
Weeks led off the first with a single and took second on an error by Monroe, later scoring on a single by Lee to give Milwaukee a 1-0 lead. Monroe helped make up for his error in the second, slapping a two-out RBI double to score Guillen and tie the game at 1. Robertson followed Monroe’s double with the first hit and RBI of his major league career.
Monroe left the game in the seventh with a cramp in his left quadriceps. … Milwaukee’s Chad Moeller hit a single to snap an 0-for-10 slump.