AROUND THE BASES
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
MLB: Boston DH David Ortiz
Ortiz had back-to-back two-homer games in Minnesota on Tuesday and Wednesday. In nine games entering Saturday, Ortiz was batting .500 (18 for 36), raising his average from .241 to .304.
BREWERS: 2B Rickie Weeks
Weeks was a forgotten man earlier in the season but has blazed his way back into the picture with a torrid stretch. He has batted .571 (16 for 28) since April 25, boosting his batting average from .120 to .358. An eight-game hitting streak ended Friday with a strikeout as a pinch hitter.
Tigers at Indians: Monday-Wednesday. Cleveland looks to move up.
Giants at Rockies: Tuesday-Thursday. Giants pitchers challenged.
Rockies at Braves: Friday-Sunday. Can Braves hold them down?
Cardinals at Reds: Friday-Sunday. Both looking to get hot.
BREWERS THIS WEEK
The Brewers continue their longest trip of the season with four games in Atlanta and three in Miami. It's always a challenge against the Braves with their strong pitching staff, and the Marlins have put together one of the best home records in the majors.
DID YOU KNOW?
Since Brandon Belt was lost with a broken thumb May 9, San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy has used five players at first base: Buster Posey, Michael Morse, Joaquin Arias, Hector Sanchez and Brandon Hicks.
YOU FIGURE IT OUT
Through his first eight starts in 2013, Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz was 6-0 with a 1.69 ERA, 60 strikeouts and 21 walks. Through eight starts this year, he was 2-3 with a 6.17 ERA, 33 strikeouts and 14 walks.
Buchholz, who missed three months last season with a shoulder/neck strain, surely must be hurting again, right?
"I don't have anything going on physically," he said. "It's just a matter of command, confidence. When you're throwing the ball in there and it's getting hit every time, it's hard to be confident to throw a ball in a particular spot.
"I didn't give up many hits last year and it was easy for me to say, 'OK, this is what I'm doing this pitch,' and do it and work off of that. This year, I'll throw a really good pitch and it will get hit. It's hard to make yourself grind through it and throw the pitch to that same spot."
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