Weeks' patience paying off in AFL

Jemile Weeks' patience and hard work are beginning to pay off.

The former first-round pick hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning Friday as the Phoenix Desert Dogs outslugged the Mesa Solar Sox, 9-7.

Weeks, selected 12th overall by the Athletics in the 2008 Draft, also scored twice for the Desert Dogs (16-11), who have won three in a row. The Florida native ended a 1-for-16 slump with his first Arizona Fall League homer and credited focus at the plate.

"Lately, I think I have been getting out of the zone a little and swinging wild," Weeks said. "I went with the mind-set to be patient and wait for my pitch."

Weeks, who batted .278 between Class A Advanced Stockton and Double-A Midland, has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games. He stole a base and scored a run in last weekend's Rising Stars Showcase and said baserunning is something he plans to work on next season.

"Defensively, I want get better," he said. "Guys are hustling down the line to take you out, there's a quicker and more consistent way to do things. [I want to] come out next year and have a healthy season and steal some bags, where I felt I lagged. Definitely, stealing bases and being more consistent on defense [are priorities]."

Fellow Athletics prospect Grant Desme broke a 10-game home run drought with a two-run shot in the fourth and scored twice. Nevin Ashley (Rays) went 2-for-4 with an RBI, extending his season-long hitting streak to 15 games for the first-place Desert Dogs.

Steve Singleton (Twins) slugged a three-run homer and AFL batting leader Bryan Petersen (Marlins) collected three hits, including a pair of triples, and scored twice for the Solar Sox (12-14).

Justin Friend (Athletics) walked one and struck out one in a scoreless eighth for his third win and Eddie Gamboa (Orioles) pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.

Red Sox farmhand Chris Province (0-2) took the loss after allowing two runs on two hits in two innings. Spencer Steedley (Twins) scattered three hits and fanned one over two innings of scoreless relief.

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