Weeks homers twice as Brewers beats Cubs 9-3
MILWAUKEE Rickie Weeks’ season-long slump appears to be coming to an end.
Weeks homered twice, drove in four runs and scored three times Tuesday night to lead the Milwaukee Brewers over the Chicago Cubs 9-3.
“I’ve been feeling good for a while now,” Weeks said. “A little bit over a month now, probably.”
Weeks had just one hit in the first five games against Chicago this season — all part of what could only be called a miserable slump. But Weeks is now on a nine-game hitting streak in which he’s batting .438 (14 for 32) with four homers and seven RBI.
“It feels good,” he said after his seventh career multi-homer game and first since Sept. 5, 2012. “It’s just one of those things where you keep working on things, and just go out there and play ball. There’s no satisfaction. There’s no big answer. Just go out there and play ball like I’ve been doing.”
Jonathan Lucroy added a two-run double and Juan Francisco also homered for Milwaukee, which has defeated Chicago 19 of the last 21 times at home — including nine in a row.
“We lost nine straight?” Chicago’s Anthony Rizzo asked. “(I had) no idea. I don’t know if anyone in this clubhouse knows that.”
Kyle Lohse (3-6) gave up eight hits and three earned runs in seven innings. He struck out three and did not walk a batter.
Chicago’s Edwin Jackson (3-10) allowed six earned runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings to fall to 0-3 against Milwaukee this season.
“From the get-go, he didn’t have much of a fastball,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “He averaged 92 mph. It is going to be tough for him to pitch with that velocity.”
Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, mired in a 13-for-98 (.133) slump, had his streak of appearing in 269 consecutive games come to an end. It was the longest active streak in the National League.
Milwaukee, which improved to 5-1 against Chicago this season, scored five runs in the fifth to erase a 3-1 deficit. Jackson, who has walked at least one batter in every game this season, issued one to Francisco to start the inning and he scored on a double to left-center field by Weeks.
Rookie Caleb Gindl collected his first run batted in on a single to center that tied the score 3-3. Jean Segura made it 4-3 on a double to right, his NL-leading 100th hit of the year. Lucroy followed with a single to left field to give his team a 6-3 lead and chase Jackson.
“I put myself in a position to get out of that inning with one run and still a 3-2 game,” Jackson said. “I wasn’t able to put those guys away. Balls up, balls getting too much of the plate with two strikes.”
Hector Rondon gave up a leadoff double to Francisco in the sixth before Weeks’ homered to right for an 8-3 lead.
“When he’s driving it the other way, he’s going to be a tough out,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. “He’s swinging the bat better, no question.”
The second baseman added a solo blast to deep center for a 9-3 lead in the eighth.
Francisco’s solo homer, his seventh, came in the second.
In the third, Chicago took a 3-1 lead on Nate Schierholtz’s three-run homer to right, his 11th of the season.
“He just got one pitch,” Lohse said. “That happens in this game. I thought I made a pretty good pitch. It just came back a little bit over the middle. I’ve got to give it to our defense and offense. They picked me up. Usually you give up some runs early like that it’s tough to come back.”
Notes: Chicago designated RHP Carlos Marmol for assignment and selected the contract of outfielder Brian Bogusevic. . Brewers CF Carlos Gomez, who sprained his left shoulder running into the outfield wall while making a catch Sunday, did not play. He could miss the entire series against Chicago. . Milwaukee first baseman Corey Hart, who has not played this season because of offseason surgery on his right knee, is now feeling pain in his left knee because of all the rehab on the original injury. . Brewers’ starting pitcher Marco Estrada experienced more issues with his injured left hamstring while on a rehab assignment with Class-A Wisconsin on Sunday.