Weeks leads Brewers' big night on offense

Weeks leads Brewers' big night on offense

Weeks leads Brewers' big night on offense
MILWAUKEE -- Style points are irrelevant for the Brewers right now. Only victories matter.

Thank goodness, because the only style points available after Milwaukee's 9-6 win over the Mets on Saturday at Miller Park went to the fan who managed to sail a huge paper airplane from the far reaches of the upper deck all the way to second base. Mets infielder Daniel Murphy delivered the object to a member of the grounds crew, then clapped his hands in the air in appreciation.

"That was awesome," said Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy. "I was on deck and I saw it carry down and pointed in the air and was like, 'Jerry, look!'"

Jerry was plate umpire Jerry Layne, who had to briefly delay a game that was already on its way to three hours and 46 minutes, saw 14 different pitchers take the mound, including ineffective starters Jenrry Mejia of the Mets and Shaun Marcum of Milwaukee, and was decided with another Brewers big inning, the likes of which they rode to a sweep of the Braves earlier on the homestand before stumbling Friday against the Mets.

The charging Brewers won with five runs in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth. Logan Schafer and Travis Ishikawa each delivered pinch-hit, run-scoring triples, and Rickie Weeks delivered a go-ahead home run, good for a win in front of 38,108 fans.

It was the Brewers' 19th win in 25 games, and it moved them to 2 1/2 games back of the Cardinals and Dodgers for the National League's second Wild Card spot, with the Pirates at two games back.

"What momentum can do is unbelievable," said Schafer, who was among the September callups to join the team amid its unexpected surge. "It's really evident with this team. It's something that's fun to be a part of and keep it rolling."

Milwaukee had to come from behind after Marcum was charged with four runs on seven hits in four innings. He has pitched five, four, 5 2/3, five and four innings in his five starts since returning from a two-month stint on the disabled list for an elbow injury, and needed 87 pitches for four innings against the Mets.

Marcum cited some bad luck, especially in the Mets' three-run fourth inning, when Mejia executed a go-ahead squeeze bunt and Ruben Tejada and David Murphy added insurance runs with well-placed hits. Tejada's single got through the hole at second base; Murphy's double was poked along the third-base line and gave the Mets a 4-1 lead.

"I thought I threw the ball all right today," Marcum said. "The stuff was coming out good. The two hits I gave up [after the squeeze] were actually really good pitches, they were right where we were supposed to throw them, where the scouting report said."

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke's best move was removing Marcum in the bottom of the fourth inning in favor of pinch-hitter Schafer, who pulled a triple into the right-field corner off Mejia for two runs, then scored the tying run on reliever Jeremy Hefner's wild pitch.

That costly misfire came with Weeks at the plate, and Weeks provided more trouble when he hit a two-run home run for a 6-4 Brewers lead. It was Weeks' 20th home run this season, and his seventh in his last 13 games.

The Brewers added to their lead in the fifth inning with another pinch-hit triple from the nine-hole, this time from Ishikawa off Collin McHugh.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Brewers were the first team to hit a pair of pinch-hit triples in a game since Vince Coleman and Lenny Harris did it for the Reds against the Pirates on April 30, 1996.

Weeks finished with two hits, two runs scored and three RBIs, and Nyjer Morgan scored twice in a rare start. The Brewers have outscored opponents, 29-16 on the homestand, with Weeks contributing three homers.

"I feel like I've been swinging the bat pretty well for more than a couple of weeks," Weeks said. "I just kept coming back to the ballpark, working hard. That's all you can do."

Because Marcum did not log the five innings necessary to quality, Brewers reliever Brandon Kintzler earned the victory with his inning of relief. Mejia took the loss in his first Major League start since Sept. 15, 2010, after coming back from shoulder and elbow injuries.

"He was behind hitters. I was happy with the way he made an adjustment and was able to throw his curveball for strikes," Mets catcher Kelly Shoppach said. "That bailed him out a few times. His fastball command just wasn't there tonight."

It became clear very early that it would be a long night. The first four innings took one hour and 51 minutes, and the teams were pushing three hours by the time they finished the sixth.

Considering the stakes, the Brewers don't mind working overtime.

"You wish things would hurry up a little bit, but that's part of the game sometimes," Weeks said. "I wish things would go a lot smooth for us because it seems we're always out there on the field for three, four hours at a time. It's always good to get a win though, regardless."

The Brewers need more wins to continue their climb up the Wild Card standings.

"We need some help, coming from behind," Weeks said. "The best thing we have is this clubhouse right here. Everyone keeps it light, and keeps coming to the ballpark ready to play. We want to get to the playoffs, obviously. Going to the playoffs two years in a row would be great for the organization."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.