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Chicago at Milwaukee

Chi. Cubs (2-2)000102000391
Milwaukee (2-2) «101000002440

Brewers rally for two off Gregg in ninth to upend Cubs wire reports

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks has put on a few pounds since last season, and admits it isn't all muscle. But he still can run -- fast enough to take third base on a wild pitch, then slide home headfirst to complete a thrilling ninth-inning rally.

It remains to be seen if Weeks can outrun past criticism of his inconsistent fielding and hitting. But with a new manager comes a clean slate, and Ken Macha liked what he saw in Milwaukee's home opener, a 4-3 victory over the division rival Chicago Cubs on Friday.

"What I've seen from Rickie, he's played very well," Macha said. "He pretty much won the game today for us."

Weeks made a couple of nice plays in the field early on, then played a critical role in Milwaukee's rally from a one-run deficit off new Cubs closer Kevin Gregg.

Gregg (0-1) walked Chris Duffy with one out and Weeks hit a line drive that sailed over the head of left fielder Alfonso Soriano for an RBI double that tied it at 3.

Weeks then went to third on a wild pitch, and Corey Hart walked to bring up Ryan Braun. He hit a hard grounder to shortstop Ryan Theriot, whose throw home couldn't get the sliding Weeks.

Cubs backup catcher Koyie Hill, whose sixth-inning homer gave the Cubs the lead, spiked the ball into the ground after the final play and appeared to bark at an umpire -- showing the intensity of a division rivalry, even in April.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella would later say that he thought the call was good, and Hill regretted his reaction.

"That was the wrong way to act about it," Hill said. "I was talking to teammates about that. You get caught up in it sometimes. We wished things had gone a little differently."

It couldn't have gone much better for Weeks, who hopes experience pays off this season.

"The more you grow into the game, the more things slow down," he said.

Weeks also has grown physically, putting on at least 15 pounds in the offseason. But he noted that maybe three to five pounds of that is muscle.

"So are you saying that's 12 pounds of fat?" new Brewers starter Braden Looper playfully jabbed in a postgame news conference.

The Cubs appeared to be on their way to victory after Hill hit his go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth and starter Rich Harden struck out 10 over six innings. But Piniella quickly lost patience as his bullpen issued five walks in the last three innings.

"We can't walk as many people as we did from the seventh inning on," Piniella said. "You can't do it. You'll lose. Get the ball over the plate, make the other team beat you. Period."

Carlos Villanueva (1-0) worked a hitless inning for the win.

The late rally helped Milwaukee shake off a rough start to the season. The Brewers didn't look much like last year's NL wild card winners in dropping two of three games at San Francisco.

"We get paid to entertain, so we want to make it interesting," Braun said.

After an evening game Thursday, the Brewers arrived back in Milwaukee early Friday morning and faced a quick turnaround for the afternoon start. Hart said he got caught in traffic trying to make his way to Miller Park for the game, throwing off his preparation routine.

But Macha didn't want to make too much of the team's travel hassles.

"That's just part of the game," he said.

Looper was fairly sharp in his first start with the Brewers, giving up one run in five innings despite issuing four walks. Looper, who signed with Milwaukee as a free agent and missed much of spring training because of a tight left oblique muscle, gave up five hits while striking out four.

Looper said his side feels fine, but still didn't feel like he had his best stuff.

"I just told myself to back off, and almost throw it as soft as I can," Looper said.

Milwaukee took a 2-0 lead with an RBI single by Braun in the first inning and a solo homer by Hart in the third. Milton Bradley then led off the fourth with a home run deep onto a walkway in right-center field for his first hit with the Cubs.

After retiring the first two batters he faced in the sixth inning, Brewers reliever Seth McClung watched Hill smack a 2-1 pitch into the Brewers' bullpen in left-center.

Weeks then helped McClung out of a jam in the seventh, snagging a sharply hit grounder and throwing to first with runners on first and second and two outs.


  • Piniella said C Geovany Soto was not likely to play in the three-game series because of tendinitis in his right shoulder, but should be available in a few days.
  • Macha said injured closer Trevor Hoffman had a throwing session Thursday and was "getting closer" to throwing off a mound.
  • Wisconsin native Jeff Skiles, co-pilot of the US Airways flight that successfully ditched in the Hudson River, threw out the first pitch.
Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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The Cubs Koyie Hill slams the ball in frustration after Rickie Weeks scores the winning run.  (AP)
The Cubs Koyie Hill slams the ball in frustration after Rickie Weeks scores the winning run. (AP)

Players of the Game

R. Weeks
AB 5
R 2
H 1
HR 0

K. Hill
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF5000021 .250
Kosuke Fukudome, CF5020010 .429
    Joey Gathright, CF0000000 .000
Derrek Lee, 1B4000113 .118
Milton Bradley, RF3111103 .083
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3000102 .353
Mike Fontenot, 2B4020001 .412
Ryan Theriot, SS3120101 .583
Koyie Hill, C2112111 .222
Rich Harden, P3010022 .333
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
    Neal Cotts, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
   a- Aaron Miles, PH1000001 .000
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
    Luis Vizcaino, P0000000 .000
    Kevin Gregg, P0000000 .000
a-grounded into a double play for Marmol in the 8th
2B - Kosuke Fukudome (2, McClung), Mike Fontenot (2, Coffey), Ryan Theriot (2, Looper)
HR - Milton Bradley (1, Looper), Koyie Hill (1, McClung)
RBI - Milton Bradley (1), Koyie Hill 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Koyie Hill 2 (2)
CS - Mike Fontenot (1, 2nd base by Looper/Kendall)
Team LOB - 9
E - Ryan Theriot (2, Throwing)
Chicago Cubs
Rich Harden 63212101 1.50
Aaron Heilman (H,2) 0.1000100 0.00
Neal Cotts0000000 6.75
Carlos Marmol (H,2) 0.2000100 0.00
Sean Marshall0000100 0.00
Luis Vizcaino (H,1) 0.2000000 0.00
Kevin Gregg (BS,1; L,0-1) 0.2122210 13.50
IBB - Kendall by Rich Harden
HBP - Counsell (by Neal Cotts)
WP - Kevin Gregg (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Harden 96-63, Aaron Heilman 8-3, Neal Cotts 3-1, Carlos Marmol 16-11, Sean Marshall 5-1, Luis Vizcaino 8-6, Kevin Gregg 26-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Harden 5-4, Aaron Heilman 1-0, Luis Vizcaino 1-1, Kevin Gregg 2-0
Batters Faced - Rich Harden 24, Aaron Heilman 2, Neal Cotts 1, Carlos Marmol 3, Sean Marshall 1, Luis Vizcaino 2, Kevin Gregg 6
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B5211022 .200
Corey Hart, RF2111210 .200
Ryan Braun, LF5012013 .294
Prince Fielder, 1B2000221 .143
J.J. Hardy, SS4000013 .059
Mike Cameron, CF4000011 .364
    Carlos Villanueva, P0000000 .000
Bill Hall, 3B3010121 .300
Jason Kendall, C2000110 .000
Braden Looper, P2000003 .000
    Seth McClung, P0000000 .000
   a- Craig Counsell, PH0000000 .500
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
    Chris Duffy, CF0100100 .000
a-hit by pitch for McClung in the 7th
2B - Rickie Weeks (2, Gregg), Bill Hall (3, Harden)
HR - Corey Hart (1, Harden)
SH - Corey Hart (1), Jason Kendall (1)
RBI - Rickie Weeks (2), Corey Hart (1), Ryan Braun 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Corey Hart (1)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Weeks-Hardy-Fielder, Hardy-Weeks-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
Braden Looper 5511441 1.80
Seth McClung (BS,1) 2322121 6.75
Todd Coffey 1100000 0.00
Carlos Villanueva (W,1-0) 1000010 0.00
HBP - Hill (by Todd Coffey)
Pitches-Strikes - Braden Looper 97-52, Seth McClung 38-22, Todd Coffey 14-8, Carlos Villanueva 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Braden Looper 3-6, Seth McClung 2-2, Todd Coffey 2-0, Carlos Villanueva 1-1
Batters Faced - Braden Looper 22, Seth McClung 10, Todd Coffey 4, Carlos Villanueva 3
Game Information
Attendance - 45455
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Tim Welke, Second Base - Angel Hernandez, Third Base - Bill Welke