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CIN@MIL: Greinke strikes out 11 over eight innings

The ailing Brewers are in need of some offense heading into Tuesday's game against Dillon Gee and the Mets, and they're hoping Rickie Weeks is the player who can provide it.

Weeks missed three straight starts with a bruised left hand but he is expected to return to the lineup at Citi Field. He was hit in the 13th inning of Friday night's game and wound up scoring the winning run, but he's only been able to pinch-hit since then. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Weeks will be in the lineup Tuesday, "probably" slotted right back into the second spot in the order.

Even before the injury, Weeks had struggled at the plate this season. He has gone hitless in his last 18 at-bats, dropping his average to just .157. He is only one year removed from an excellent first half punctuated with a start at second base in the 2011 All-Star Game, but he hasn't been able to replicate that production this season.

Milwaukee would certainly benefit from a return to form, however, especially with Mat Gamel and Alex Gonzalez out with severe knee injuries. Could the time off due to this injury be a sort of silver lining for the scuffling Weeks?

"He's a little different than anybody else. I don't know that a mental break helps him that much," Roenicke said. "For me, sometimes I think it helps. But I don't think when he sits, he kind of relaxes and enjoys the ballgame.

"I think he thinks the whole time, 'If I was out there, I could be getting my swing back.' I think that's just his mentality, to be out there and grind through everything."

Gee has been grinding through his recent outings, struggling to keep his pitch count down and requiring 103 pitches to throw 5 2/3 innings Wednesday against the Phillies. He gave up four runs on 10 hits with four strikeouts in that outing, a no-decision, and hasn't picked up a win since April 28.

The right-hander hasn't faced the Brewers since his last start of 2010. He is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in three starts at home this season.

Brewers: Greinke's road woes
• Right-hander Zack Greinke, Tuesday's starter, has been a different pitcher away from Miller Park this season. He is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and .184 opponents' average at home but owns a 1-1 record, 7.20 ERA, 1.93 WHIP and .354 average against on the road.

Greinke was dominant in his last start, throwing eight shutout innings and allowing only two hits while striking out 11, but took a no-decision as the Brewers gave him no run support and lost, 2-1.

• Gonzalez will undergo surgery Thursday to repair the torn ligament in his right knee. The surgery will be performed in Milwaukee by Dr. William Raasch, the Brewers' head physician.

Mets: Collins maintains loyalty to Francisco
• Frank Francisco gave up a run on two hits and a walk Monday night, moving his ERA to 8.59 on the year, but he also picked up his ninth save. That came only a few hours after manager Terry Collins reaffirmed that he would stick with Francisco as the club's closer, though he admitted the coaching staff has considered a closer-by-committee system.

"This guy has a history of closing," Collins said. "We brought him here for a reason. We talked about doing a couple things different today, and we'll see what the outcome is."

"We never know what's going to happen, but I think he's doing the right thing," Francisco said. "I believe. First, I believe in God. And then I believe in me."

Worth noting
• Monday's 3-1 loss ended the Brewers' string of six straight wins against the Mets at Citi Field.

• The Mets have already won each of their first three home stands, matching their total for the entire 2011 season. Comments