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Braun homers as Brewers win; Cubs' Ramirez dislocates shoulder

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun's homer had a familiar feeling.

Braun hit a two-run drive in the eighth and the Milwaukee Brewers rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs, who may be without third baseman Aramis Ramirez for an extended period after he dislocated his left shoulder Friday night.

 Cubs trade Gathright to O's for Freel

Braun hit a two-run homer in the eighth against the Cubs in the final game last season that lifted the Brewers to their first postseason appearance in 26 years.

"Not quite as dramatic as the home run last year, but definitely a lot of fun, just the energy, the excitement of the crowd that made it feel a little bit like last year," said Braun, who is hitting .424 with six homers and 20 RBI in his last 16 games.

"That's why you work hard all year is to have an opportunity to be in a situation like that. That's what makes this game fun."

Ramirez, who hurt himself after his diving backhanded stop of a hard grounder by Braun in the third, said he'll return to Chicago for tests on Saturday.

"I felt a pop. I've done it before," said Ramirez, who hurt the same shoulder in 2000 in Pittsburgh and missed six weeks. "It's been nine years since I've been playing, it's just one of those things."

J.J. Hardy homered in the sixth ahead of Braun's big hit, which came off Aaron Heilman (2-2) after the Cubs reliever entered and threw five straight balls to walk Corey Hart and fall behind Braun.

"Walks always hurt you," Heilman said. "I put myself in the hole there and tried to get out of it."

Braun watched his opposite-field drive for a moment, then stuck his tongue out in a Jordan-esque display while slapping hands with first base coach Ed Sedar. Milwaukee has won four of five and 13 of the last 17.

"I'm passionate. My intent is never to show anybody up or embarrass anybody," Braun said. "I think guys should be emotional, you should enjoy it. You don't hit too many home runs in big situations that you get to enjoy, so why not?"

The Cubs certainly aren't enjoying their latest predicament after sending reserve outfielder Joey Gathright to Triple-A and trading him to Baltimore for utility player Ryan Freel before the game because of the lack of infield depth.

That move allowed the Cubs to call-up pitcher Randy Wells, who threw five scoreless innings in his first major league start. Wells is in Carlos Zambrano's spot in the rotation with the ace recovering from a hamstring injury.

Milton Bradley homered in the fifth off Brewers starter Dave Bush, and Alfonso Soriano's sacrifice fly in the sixth gave Chicago a 2-0 lead as Wells stranded six Brewers in the first three innings.

But Hardy answered with a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to 2-1, and the Cubs couldn't scratch across a run with one out and the bases loaded in the eighth.

"We had chances to put the game away in the eighth inning ... and got nothing," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said.

Reliever Mitch Stetter (2-0) earned the win by getting the only batter he faced out, forcing pinch-hitter Geovany Soto to ground out to end the threat, and Trevor Hoffman finished with a perfect ninth for his fifth save.

The Cubs, who came in winning six of seven, now have yet another injury to add to the growing list of stars who've been out so far this year.

Derrek Lee (neck spasms), Bradley (groin), Soto (shoulder) and Zambrano have all missed time with nagging injuries, and Ramirez hurt his left calf earlier this year and sat out six games.

"I've never seen anything quite like this. Every day it seems to be something different," Piniella said. "It just gets frustrating every time you start putting something together, something different happens."

Notes

  • Piniella came out to check on Bradley's discussion with plate umpire Tom Hallion after he struck out looking in the seventh. Bradley has appealed a two-game suspension from earlier this year for making contact with an umpire. Neither side was pleased with Hallion's calls with Brewers 3B Bill Hall and C Jason Kendall both venting after at-bats.
  • Lee missed his third straight game but is expected to return on Saturday.
  • Piniella said Zambrano is expected to throw a bullpen at some point this weekend.
  • American Idol finalist and Milwaukee native Danny Gokey threw out the first pitch and sang the national anthem. One sign in the crowd said, "Danny, Even Cubs fans love you."
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Milwakee's Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and Mike Cameron celebrate the Brewers' victory.
 
Milwakee's Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and Mike Cameron celebrate the Brewers' victory. (AP)
 

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

R. Braun
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Chicago

M. Bradley
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF2001100 .271
Ryan Theriot, SS4010003 .310
Kosuke Fukudome, CF3010020 .299
   a- Geovany Soto, PH1000003 .159
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
Aramis Ramirez, 3B1000001 .364
    Aaron Miles, 2B3000010 .206
Micah Hoffpauir, 1B4000010 .288
Milton Bradley, RF4111010 .150
Mike Fontenot, 2B-3B3000000 .239
Koyie Hill, C3010010 .306
Randy Wells, P1000000 .000
   b- Bobby Scales, PH1110000 .400
    Angel Guzman, P0000000 .000
   c- Reed Johnson, PH-CF1000000 .229
Totals3125216  
a-grounded out for Fukudome in the 8th
b-tripled for R. Wells in the 6th
c-grounded out for Guzman in the 8th
Batting
2B - Koyie Hill (2, Villanueva)
3B - Bobby Scales (1, Bush)
HR - Milton Bradley (3, Bush)
SF - Alfonso Soriano (1)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano (18), Milton Bradley (4)
SB - Ryan Theriot (7, 2nd base off Bush/Kendall)
CS - Kosuke Fukudome (4, 2nd base by Bush/Kendall)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Theriot-Miles-Hoffpauir
Chicago Cubs
Randy Wells 5500250 0.00
Angel Guzman (H,2) 2111041 4.11
Aaron Heilman (BS,2; L,2-2) 1122111 5.14
WP - Aaron Heilman (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wells 84-51, Angel Guzman 34-26, Aaron Heilman 20-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wells 4-5, Angel Guzman 1-1, Aaron Heilman 1-1
Batters Faced - Randy Wells 21, Angel Guzman 7, Aaron Heilman 5
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B4010022 .270
Corey Hart, RF3110101 .274
Ryan Braun, LF3122110 .337
Prince Fielder, 1B4000001 .269
Mike Cameron, CF4010022 .291
J.J. Hardy, SS3111102 .214
Bill Hall, 3B3000031 .279
Jason Kendall, C3010010 .209
Dave Bush, P2000012 .143
   a- Chris Duffy, PH1000000 .091
    Carlos Villanueva, P00000001.000
    Mitch Stetter, P0000000 .000
    Trevor Hoffman, P0000000 .000
Totals30373310  
a-grounded out for Bush in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jason Kendall (3, R. Wells)
HR - Ryan Braun (7, Heilman), J.J. Hardy (5, Guzman)
RBI - Ryan Braun 2 (26), J.J. Hardy (17)
2-OUT RBI - J.J. Hardy (7)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Bill Hall (2, Throwing)
Milwaukee Brewers
Dave Bush 7422041 4.05
Carlos Villanueva 0.2100100 6.43
Mitch Stetter (W,2-0) 0.1000000 3.38
Trevor Hoffman (S,5) 1000020 0.00
IBB - Soriano by Carlos Villanueva
Pitches-Strikes - Dave Bush 80-51, Carlos Villanueva 15-7, Mitch Stetter 2-2, Trevor Hoffman 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dave Bush 7-9, Carlos Villanueva 3-0, Mitch Stetter 1-0, Trevor Hoffman 1-0
Batters Faced - Dave Bush 24, Carlos Villanueva 5, Mitch Stetter 1, Trevor Hoffman 3
Game Information
Attendance - 42025
Game Time - 2:25
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Jerry Crawford, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Todd Tichenor