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Milwaukee at Chicago

Venue: Wrigley Field

With Carlos Gomez suspended and Aramis Ramirez on the disabled list, the Milwaukee Brewers are having a difficult time generating runs heading into a matchup with one of the top starters in the majors this season.

Ryan Braun may be able to provide a boost considering the way he's hammered Chicago Cubs pitching.

As Gomez serves one more game, Milwaukee will try to build on a dramatic victory in its last contest as it takes on Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija in Friday's series opener at Wrigley Field.

The Brewers (26-15) totaled three runs and 11 hits in a 17-inning stretch against Pittsburgh before rallying in the ninth inning Thursday with two walks and two singles en route to a 4-3 victory.

Khris Davis delivered a walk-off two-run single as first-place Milwaukee won for the fourth time in five games.

"He's got some big hits for us," manager Ron Roenicke told the team's official website of Davis, who went 4 for 9 in the three-game series. "When you look at his overall numbers and they're not where he would like them to be, or us, but he's got some big hits."

Ryan Braun started Thursday's rally with a leadoff single in the ninth and has gone 3 for 10 in three games since returning from a strained oblique. He's 25 for 48 with five homers and 18 RBIs in his last 12 games against NL-worst Chicago (13-26).

The Brewers may need him to continue that hot hitting in this series with Gomez out because of his role in a fight with the Pirates on April 20 and Ramirez nursing a strained hamstring. Gomez and Ramirez are tied for the team lead with 21 RBIs, while Gomez has a club-best nine home runs.

Milwaukee, which took two of three from the Cubs at Miller Park from April 25-27, looks to avoid its fifth loss in six road games as it opens a 10-game trip with three in Chicago.

The Brewers are 23-8 in their last 31 against the Cubs, but might not have it easy against Samardzija (0-3, 1.45 ERA).

The right-hander ranks second in the major leagues in ERA, yet is winless in his eight starts due to the second-lowest run-support average in baseball at 1.93. He's the first pitcher since at least 1900 to give up three or fewer runs in his first eight starts and not get a victory.

He did not get a decision Saturday, when he allowed two hits over six scoreless innings in a 2-0 loss at Atlanta.

Samardzija, whose last win came Aug. 24, has gone 0-3 with a 3.08 ERA in six career starts against the Brewers. Braun is 7 for 16 with two home runs in their matchups.

"We just have to score some runs - the guy's giving up less than two runs a game for nine innings," infielder Darwin Barney told the team's official website. "If we come out and put up three or four, he'll get a win."

Milwaukee's Kyle Lohse (4-1, 2.75) will try to win his fifth consecutive decision, though he hasn't earned a victory in his last three outings. He gave up three runs - two earned - in six innings of Saturday's 5-4 home win over the New York Yankees.

The right-hander hasn't pitched well in recent visits to Wrigley, going 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in his last five starts.

Anthony Rizzo went 7 for 11 with two doubles, Junior Lake was 4 for 8 with a home run and Nate Schierholtz 4 for 12 with two homers against Lohse in 2013.

The Cubs, off to their worst start since 2002, have dropped nine of 11 following Thursday's 5-3 loss in St. Louis.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Milwaukee4th NL Central6894.420324-6 L 4
Chi Cubs3rd NL Central9765.59938-2 W 8

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Series Game Log
Apr 5CHCSTL 3-0Wainwright Lester 
Apr 7CHCPPD   
Apr 8CHCCHC 2-0Arrieta Lynn 
May 4STLSTL 10-9Socolovich Strop 
May 5STLSTL 7-4Harris Jackson 
May 6STLCHC 6-5Lester Lynn 
May 7STLSTL 5-1Lackey Arrieta 
Jun 26STLSTL 3-2Maness Grimm 
Jun 27STLSTL 8-1Wacha Roach 
Jun 28STLSTL 4-1Martinez Hammel 
Jul 6CHCSTL 6-0Lackey Lester 
Jul 7CHCCHC 7-4Arrieta Lyons 
Jul 7CHCCHC 5-3Wood Maness 
Jul 8CHCSTL 6-5Socolovich Strop 
Sep 7STLCHC 9-0Haren Lynn 
Sep 8STLCHC 8-5Hammel Wacha 
Sep 9STLSTL 4-3Broxton Richard 
Sep 18CHCCHC 8-3Hunter Maness 
Sep 19CHCCHC 5-4Cahill Wacha 
Sep 20CHCSTL 4-3Martinez Lester 
Oct 9STLSTL 4-0Lackey Lester 
Oct 10STL 5:37 PM EDT  
Oct 12CHC 6:07 PM EDT  
Oct 13CHC 4:37 PM EDT  
Oct 15STL 4:37 PM EDT