CINCINNATI -- Sure, the Brewers were bummed about Zack Greinke's place on the Opening Day disabled list. But they showed Thursday, in historic fashion, how they'll try to get by in his absence.
Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez delivered back-to-back home runs in the Brewers' first two at-bats of 2011, sparking a three-run rally in Milwaukee's regular-season opening inning for an early lead against the defending National League Central champion Reds.
Weeks hit Cincinnati starter Edinson Volquez's eighth pitch of the season to the left-field seats for his 22nd career leadoff home run and the first by a Brewers hitter leading off a season. Gomez turned on a sinker two pitches later for a booming homer to the second deck, making the 2011 Brewers the first team since the 1969 Reds to get back-to-back home runs to begin a season. Weeks and Gomez joined Pete Rose and Bobby Tolan, who took the Dodgers' Don Drysdale deep to begin the '69 season.
"It was a great start, obviously," Weeks said. "To go 1-2 like that, get a couple of runs on the board -- that's good for any ballclub."
He didn't necessarily step to the plate intending to ambush a Volquez fastball.
"It's Opening Day, so honestly, everybody is kind of blacked-out out there," Weeks said. "It's just one of those things where you try to see the ball and hit it. I thought he did a good job of mixing his pitches after the fact."
The Brewers were not finished in their big first inning. Ryan Braun walked, Prince Fielder singled and Volquez finally recorded an out on Casey McGehee's sacrifice fly.
"It's great," Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo said. "I think it shows the kind of hitters we have here, all the talent we have in this room. It's a good feeling. The boys were swinging the bat today, from Day 1."
Braun also homered, and Weeks and McGehee finished with two RBIs apiece, but the Brewers took a disheartening loss in the bottom of the ninth inning, when Reds catcher Ramon Hernandez delivered a walk-off three-run home run.
Gomez wasn't deterred.
"If we keep playing like we played today, we'll be in October," he said. "Believe it."