Weeks drops to ninth with Gomes in two-hole

Weeks drops to ninth with Gomes in two-hole

TORONTO -- A slumping Jemile Weeks found himself hitting ninth for the first time this season in Tuesday's series opener against the Blue Jays, with manager Bob Melvin noting the move had more to do with his temporary replacement in the No. 2 slot.

That would be Jonny Gomes, who made his third start of the season there -- he's 4-for-8 in his previous two stints -- but first with both Weeks and leadoff batter Coco Crisp in the lineup against Toronto lefty Brett Cecil.

"We've been playing more to matchups here recently," Melvin said. "We want to get Jonny up against the left-handed pitcher maybe a little earlier in the game."

Weeks, meanwhile, might benefit from a change of scenery, having struggled to the tune of a .183 average over his last 20 games, while watching his season mark drop to .216. However, the club still finds much value in his speed, particularly from the ninth spot, where he hit .394 with a .412 on-base percentage last year.

Last season he batted .303 with 36 RBIs in 97 games during a productive rookie season, but he's yet to showcase the same type of performance in his sophomore campaign.

"He's still grinding on it," Melvin said. "He just hasn't been able to put a long string together where he's getting a lot of hits."