As cold as Rickie Weeks was in April and May, that's how hot he has been in June. Weeks continued his first-half resurgence Tuesday night with a double, two home runs and four runs batted in as the Milwaukee Brewers rallied for a 9-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park. The three-hit night raised Weeks' batting average to .230, which might not sound like much in the grand scheme of things. But consider that the Brewers' second baseman was batting .183 at the close of May. The only out Weeks made was a drive to the wall in right in his first at-bat, a shot that manager Ron Roenicke thought was hit as well as the two homers he later sent out to right-center and right. "It was a great night for Rick," said Roenicke, whose club snapped a last-place tie in the NL Central with the Cubs. "When he's driving it the other way, he's going to be a tough out. "I can't tell you what the difference is. His hands appear to be a little higher but I don't know what the real mechanical change has been. Usually, it's more mental than mechanical. For whatever reason, he's seeing the ball well and he's not missing the pitch that earlier in the year he was fouling off." The Brewers made some news after the game as well when they announced that pitching prospect Johnny Hellweg, who has been throwing very well at Class AAA Nashville (7-4, 2.82), would make his big-league debut Friday in Pittsburgh. Hellweg replaces fill-in starter Alfredo Figaro, who went on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique strain. Weeks has hit safely in nine consecutive games, but he's been hotter for much longer than that, batting .439 in June with five homers and nine RBI. Roenicke believes Weeks has benefited from certain pitcher/hitter matchups, with rookie Scooter Gennett also getting playing time. Others have speculated that Gennett's arrival from the minors snapped Weeks to attention somewhat. But Weeks actually was emerging from his two-month hibernation before Gennett was summoned from Class AAA Nashville. And the soft-spoken veteran gives little credence to external factors being at the root of his resurgence. "I just keep working on things and going out and playing ball," said Weeks. "There's no big answer. It's just going out and playing ball like I've been doing. I'm keeping the same approach. "It's not like it's a shock to me. You've just got to go out there and keep playing. I still want to pull the ball, but I've been staying inside the ball too. Just driving the ball is good. I've been feeling good for a while now." Weeks, Juan Francisco (homer, double, three runs scored) and Jonathan Lucroy (two-run single) played big roles in the Brewers erasing a 3-1 Cubs lead, built on one swing of the bat by Nate Schierholtz in the third inning. Schierholtz jumped on an inside fastball from Kyle Lohse with one down and knocked it out to right for his 11th homer of the season. Lohse kept the Cubs off the board for the rest of his seven-inning stint. It was the fifth consecutive quality start for Lohse, whose 3.69 earned run average is more indicative of how he has pitched than his 3-6 record. "I have to give our defense and offense credit," said Lohse. "They picked me up. Usually when you give up some runs early like that, it's tough to come back, but they picked me up pretty good. "You just stick to your game plan and execute a little better. That's all you can do. I had a rough May with the (sore) elbow and hamstring stuff but I feel like it's coming around."
Weeks stays hot as Brewers down Cubs 9-3
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Jun 26