Much has changed -- including the spelling of his first name -- after arm problems slowed his career. Gonzalez returned Thursday, this time as a spot starter for the Milwaukee Brewers, and beat Mark Prior for a victory against his former team.
"I love this place. Everybody in baseball loves Wrigley Field and they want to play here," Gonzalez said after a five-inning outing that helped the Brewers beat the Cubs 5-4.
Gonzalez (1-0) got the ball when Doug Davis was scratched from his start a day earlier because of a stiff back. Gonzalez went by "Jeremi" most of his career before pointing out to the Brewers after a trade from the Mets last month that "Geremi" was the correct spelling.
He allowed three hits and two unearned runs with five walks and six strikeouts to earn his first win as a starter since May 8, 2005, with the Red Sox.
The only two runs he gave up were set up by his own error when he failed to catch a popped bunt by Todd Walker, walked two batters and gave up a two-run single to Jacque Jones in the fifth.
"I was running to the popup, screaming, `I got it, I got it, I got it.' As soon as I got to the ball, I think I lost concentration," Gonzalez said.
"Geremi lost his opportunity to win a Gold Glove and cost himself about 16-17 extra pitches and two runs," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said.
The Brewers sent Prior to his third straight defeat, scoring four of their five runs with two outs.
And they escaped a jam in the eighth when closer Derrick Turnbow struck out Derrek Lee with runners at second and third. The Cubs stranded 12 runners.
"He came at me with fastballs and just beat me," said Lee, playing his fifth game since coming off the disabled list (broken wrist).
"I figured I'd throw my best pitch and see what happens," Turnbow said.
Turnbow also pitched the ninth for his 23rd save in 27 chances, striking out Ronny Cedeno with a runner on second to end it.
Milwaukee won three times in the four-game series at Wrigley Field, where the Cubs have lost 10 of 11.
Corey Koskie homered against Prior (0-3), who came off the disabled list June 18. He allowed eight hits and five runs with four walks and nine strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
The Brewers loaded the bases with none out in the sixth on a walk and two singles before Prior struck out Damian Miller and Brady Clark. But pinch-hitter Gabe Gross dumped a two-run single into shallow left, putting the Brewers up 5-2 and finishing Prior.
"I know what I want to do mentally, but unfortunately I'm not able to do it physically or haven't been able to execute it," Prior said. "And that's the frustrating part. ... I made a good pitch on Gross right there and you can't do much more than throw the pitch. ... The bases shouldn't have been loaded."
Matt Wise, who cut a finger on his right hand when he caught it on salad tongs Sunday, gave up a run-scoring double to Jones in the seventh, trimming the lead to 5-4.
The Cubs also got a run off Wise in the sixth on Matt Murton's double-play grounder.
Prior gave up a leadoff single to Rickie Weeks, who scored after two strikeouts when Carlos Lee hit an RBI double.
Koskie's 11th homer made it 2-0 in the second, and the Brewers got another two-out run in the fourth when Koskie walked, stole second and scored on Miller's double.
- Carlos Lee had three hits and a walk. He finished the four-game series 8-for-16 with two homers and four RBI.
- Cubs C Michael Barrett sat out the final game of his 10-game suspension for punching White Sox C A.J. Pierzynski last month and will return when the teams open their second interleague series Friday at Wrigley Field. He was officially activated after Thursday's game, and the Cubs optioned C Geovany Soto to Triple-A Iowa.
- The Brewers are 40-40, the 14th time this season they've been at .500. They haven't been over the mark since May 29.
- Derrek Lee's right hand went numb momentarily when he went down to start a double play in the third inning but it responded and he was able to stay in the game. "I'm fine," Lee said. "It was nothing I'd experienced. I went down and made the play and it stung. It hurt initially, but it just goes away."