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Weeks' homer the difference in Brewers' wild win

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Associated Press
July 17, 2011
— In a wild game that included a couple of ejections, blown leads and comebacks by both teams, Rickie Weeks' provided the final blow.

Weeks hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning as the Milwaukee Brewers came back after squandering a seventh-inning lead and beat Colorado 8-7 Saturday night in a game that began with a 49-minute weather delay and included the ejections of Rockies manager Jim Tracy and catcher Chris Iannetta.


"I thought I hit it pretty good, but you never know," said Weeks, who connected for his 18th homer of the season. "But it did get across the fence. It is always exciting to get game-winning home run."


With two outs in the ninth and the score tied at 6-6, Huston Street (0-3) walked Prince Fielder. Weeks followed with a drive that just cleared center fielder Dexter Fowler's attempt for a leaping catch at the wall.


"It just wasn't my best pitch," Street said. "I was trying to throw a slider down and I threw a slider that was belt high. Sometimes, they foul it back. He didn't foul it back."


Francisco Rodriguez (3-2), making his Brewers debut after being acquired Tuesday from the New York Mets, pitched a scoreless eighth inning.


"I was waiting to come in, and once I got in, I wanted to keep the score tied and let our guys score some runs," Rodriguez said. "We needed this one. We had dropped the first two games of the series. It was huge to come back and win it."


John Axford allowed an RBI single by Todd Helton before retiring Troy Tulowitzki for the final out to earn his 24th save in 26 chances.


Milwaukee was trailing 3-2 when Josh Wilson and Jonathan Lucroy each singled off Jhoulys Chacin to start the seventh. Craig Counsell, pinch-hitting for starting pitcher Zack Greinke, advanced the runners with a sacrifice.


After Chacin hit Corey Hart with a pitch to load the bases, Matt Reynolds came on in relief to face Nyjer Morgan, who greeted him with a surprise bunt single down the first-base line that scored Wilson. Charging from first, Helton tried to field the ball and toss it from his glove all in one motion but it sailed over Iannetta's head for an error and Lucroy crossed the plate with tying run.


Mark Kotsay, a defensive replacement after left fielder Ryan Braun was lifted in the sixth because of tightness in his left hamstring and calf, drove a fly ball to center. Hart, who hit a two-run homer earlier, tagged up and went for the plate, where Iannetta caught the throw on a bounce. He wheeled to put the tag on Hart's upper leg as the Brewers' runner slid in a very close play at the plate.


After home plate umpire Cory Blaser signaled Hart safe to give Milwaukee a 5-3 lead, Iannetta bounced up, slammed his mask down and heatedly argued the call nose-to-nose with Blaser. Iannetta was tossed as Tracy ran from the dugout to get between the two. Tracy then got in Blaser's face and he was also ejected.


Tracy said afterward that he thought Hart was "clearly out" and Blaser missed the call. Iannetta, ejected for the first time in his big league career, said he obviously thought he had gotten Hart out but added he over-reacted out of frustration.


"I shouldn't have done what I did," Iannetta said. "No one is perfect. Even the best players in the game make mistakes sometimes, and you can't fault a guy for making a mistake, if it truly was a mistake. But I reacted in a manner that wasn't right, so it's on me."


Colorado came back and regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh on Helton's two-run double and Tulowitzki's run-scoring single. Milwaukee evened the score again in the eighth on an RBI groundout by pinchhitter George Kottaras.


Trying to get the Brewers going offensively, manager Ron Roenicke shook up the batting order and Hart, moved up to the leadoff spot from fifth, responded with his 12th homer, a two-run shot in the fifth that pulled Milwaukee to 3-2.


All three of the Rockies' runs off Greinke in the second inning were unearned. Ian Stewart hit a two-out triple and Dexter Fowler swung and missed at a pitch in the dirt for a third strike. Lucroy couldn't hold the ball and struggled briefly to track it down before he was able to corral it. However, his throw to first was off the mark for an error, allowing Fowler to reach and Stewart to score.


Iannetta and Chacin followed with successive RBI singles.


Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez returned to the lineup after missing eight of nine games since bruising his right wrist when he crashed into the center-field wall while making a catch against Kansas City on July 3.


NOTES: Prior to the game, manager Ron Roenicke swapped Hart and Weeks in the lineup. Josh Wilson also started at shortstop ahead of Yuniesky Betancourt. ... Twenty of Hart's 29 RBIs this season have come on home runs. ... Iannetta is 6 for12 with a double, 3 RBIs and four runs scored in his last four starts at Coors Field.



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