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Weeks to return on Robinson Day

Weeks to return on Robinson Day

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MILWAUKEE -- Rickie Weeks had a swollen jaw on Tuesday, the result of an Edinson Volquez fastball that found its way to Weeks' face on Monday night. But the Brewers' leadoff man said he felt fine, and he expects to be back in the lineup for Wednesday's series finale against the Reds at Miller Park.

That was good news after a few scary moments the night before. Weeks had squared to bunt against Volquez when a 94-mph fastball hit him in the face. Weeks hit the dirt and lay face-down for a bit, but remained in the game and finished 1-for-4.

Weeks was asked if he considered calling it a night after he was struck. He responded as if he had just been asked for a recipe for a good Easter ham.

"Who, me?" Weeks said. "I went down, but I was scared at first, that's all. I'm fine now."

Turns out he got away with one. Weeks confirmed on Tuesday that the Volquez pitch glanced off the bat before connecting with his jaw. It should have been a foul ball.

That Weeks was out of Tuesday's lineup was a coincidence, according to manager Ken Macha, and a glance at the numbers revealed that Macha had an easy call. Craig Counsell, who started in Weeks' place, entered the game 7-for-19 in his career against Reds starter Bronson Arroyo, good for a .368 average. Weeks was 1-for-20 (.050) with 10 strikeouts.

"I had planned on giving him a day off anyway," Macha said. "This just kind of meshed together."

The skipper was relieved that Weeks was OK.

"I was nervous going out there," Macha said. "The catcher was calling me out there, and he wasn't moving when I got there. But he said he was fine. ... He hangs in there, and good hitters do that. Good hitters get hit by pitches a lot. Don Baylor. Frank Robinson, though Robinson was right on top of the plate."

Pitching matchup
MIL: RHP Braden Looper (0-0, 1.80 ERA)
Looper limited the Cubs to a run in five innings for a solid Brewers debut, but wasn't exactly jumping up and down about it. "I definitely wouldn't say that I pitched my best," said Looper, who missed the first half of Spring Training with a rib-cage injury. "I knew early on that I didn't have my command like I normally do. But I had a really good changeup, and I was just trying to keep the ball down and let the guys make plays." He issued four walks in the game, but mitigated them with four strikeouts and one key double play, initiated on a slick defensive play by Weeks. The Brewers won the game in the ninth inning, but Looper remained winless at Miller Park -- 0-4 now in 19 career appearances, including four starts.

CIN: RHP Micah Owings (6-9, 5.93 ERA in 2008)
Owings got bumped back after a rainout on Friday forced manager Dusty Baker to alter his rotation. The right-hander earned the fifth starter's spot with a strong Spring Training in which he was 3-1 with a 1.52 ERA, 10 walks and 24 strikeouts in six starts over 23 2/3 innings. A .319 lifetime hitter with five homers, Owings will also be a threat from the ninth spot in the Reds' order. Last season, Owings was 6-9 with a 5.93 ERA in 22 games for the Diamondbacks after starting 2008 with a 4-0 record and 2.42 ERA. A sore shoulder ended Owings' season as a pitcher before his trade to the Reds in exchange for Adam Dunn. He was still used as a pinch-hitter. Lifetime vs. the Brewers, he is 0-2 with a 8.00 ERA.

Tidbits
All Brewers players and coaches will wear No. 42 on Wednesday for Jackie Robinson Day, but the honor holds special meaning for Weeks. His grandfather, Victor, was an outfielder for the Negro Leagues' Newark Eagles in the late 1940s. "My grandfather told me that he grew up watching the old guys, like Josh Gibson and 'Cool Papa' Bell," Weeks said last spring. "He talked about Larry Doby and Don Newcombe. He loved it." ... Closer Trevor Hoffman is scheduled to throw off a mound on Wednesday for the first time since March 13. He's been sidelined with a rib-cage injury. He will have to throw a series of mound sessions before the Brewers send Hoffman out for a Minor League rehabilitation assignment. ... Looper's only career shutout came at the Reds' expense last June 11 at Great American Ball Park. It was a three-hitter.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• WMLW 41

On radio
• WTMJ 620

Up next
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Brewers (Dave Bush, 0-0, 6.14) at Mets (Livan Hernandez, 1-0, 2.70), 6:10 p.m. CT
• Saturday: Brewers (Yovani Gallardo, 1-1, 6.94) at Mets (Johan Santana, 1-1, 0.71), 12:10 p.m. CT

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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