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Lopez leads solid group of second-base fill-ins

Lopez leads solid group of second-base fill-ins

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Lopez leads solid group of second-base fill-ins
ST. LOUIS -- Felipe Lopez has enjoyed quite a turnaround over the past two weeks.

Lopez, who was with Tampa Bay's Triple-A affiliate just weeks ago, is shaping up to be the Brewers' main replacement at second base for the injured All-Star Rickie Weeks.

Weeks has been out since spraining his left ankle on July 27. Lopez has seen the most time at second base since the injury, with Jerry Hairston Jr., Josh Wilson and Craig Counsell also filling in.

Though Lopez has been starting of late, manager Ron Roenicke says he's been pleased with the overall production at the position in Weeks' absence.

"None of them are going to replace what Rickie does, but they're very good defensively," Roenicke said. "I like their at-bats -- they're getting hits. They're filling in for that spot in an area where we lost a lot."

Lopez was buried in a Rays organization that had no plans for him, and now he finds himself in a heated rivalry and in the middle of a pennant race.

"You just never know where you're going to end up," Lopez said. "It's crazy. Baseball is crazy like that."

The switch-hitter made his ninth start in 10 games on Tuesday in the series opener against the Cardinals, and he knows what it's like to be on the other side of the National League Central rivalry. He played 109 games for St. Louis in 2010, including 12 starts against Milwaukee. The last time he played at Busch Stadium, he was on the home team.

"It's a little off, because I was over there last year," he said. "But it's just a part of the game."

Lopez was acquired from Tampa Bay on July 28 and has fit in well with Milwaukee, partly because he's familiar with the club from his days as a Brewer during the 2009 season.

"It's comfortable," he said. "I'm glad I'm here."

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