Milwaukee at Chicago

Chi. Cubs
W: B. Looper (13-6) L: R. Harden (9-9)
HR: MIL - None   CHC - A. Ramirez (13)

Brewers 9, Cubs 5 wire reports

CHICAGO -- Braden Looper got the early run support he needed Wednesday night and made it through five innings to earn his career-high 13th victory.

By the time Looper's back started stiffening up in the third inning, the Brewers already had scored five runs on their way to a 9-5 victory against the Chicago Cubs.

"Luckily we scored a lot. That's for sure," Looper said. "I felt really good for three innings. About as good as I have all year. But then I just couldn't get the ball down after that."

His back started bothering him because he had been hit there by a line drive during batting practice Tuesday.

"I got crushed in BP. I was playing catch. You don't see it coming," he said.

Looper (13-6), who won 12 games in each of the two previous seasons with the Cardinals, allowed five runs and nine hits, including a two-run homer by Aramis Ramirez in the fifth, and walked three.

"Thirteen wins is nothing to laugh at," Looper said. "To get that 13th is nice. Couple of more would be good."

Speaking of 13, that's how many hits each team had Wednesday. The Brewers knocked out Chicago starter Rich Harden (9-9) after three innings, and Milwaukee shortstop Alcides Escobar had career highs with four hits and three RBI.

"I'm getting better and better every day," Escobar said. "I'm trying to work on my offense every day, trying to put the ball in play and make some contact. I'm looking for line drives in every at-bat."

Milwaukee scored two in the second on a two-out RBI double by No. 8 hitter Escobar and a run-producing single from Looper.

The Brewers loaded the bases in the third on Corey Hart's single, an error on Cubs' third baseman Ramirez when he let Ryan Braun's hard hopper get past him and an intentional walk to Prince Fielder. Casey McGehee hit a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead and Mike Cameron walked to reload the bases before Escobar came through again with a soft two-out, two-run single for a 5-0 lead.

Harden gave up five hits, five runs -- two earned -- and three walks, while throwing 71 pitches during his short stint.

"Bad outing," said Harden, who hasn't made it past the fifth inning in any of his past four starts because of high pitch counts.

"I have thrown a lot of pitches the last three starts and not many innings," he added.

Chicago got a pair back in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly by Kosuke Fukudome and RBI single by Derrek Lee. But Escobar made a nice play on Milton Bradley's grounder behind the bag and threw him out to end the rally.

Milwaukee got another run in the fourth with the aid of a rare error on Cubs catcher Geovany Soto and the alert eye of Milwaukee manager Ken Macha.

After Felipe Lopez singled and moved up to second on an infield out, reliever David Patton threw a ball in the dirt that Soto attempted to scoop up with his catcher's mask, which is illegal. Macha came out of the dugout and pointed it out to home plate umpire Doug Eddings. Lopez was allowed to advance to third, Soto was charged with an error, and Braun followed with an RBI single.

"I don't think Soto knew the rule. I'll be honest with you," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "We told him he couldn't use his helmet, either, just to make sure."

Corey Hart added a two-run single in a three-run fifth that included Escobar's third consecutive hit.


Escobar has a five-game hitting streak, going 9 for 19 during that stretch. ... Cubs OF Alfonso Soriano, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Tuesday and is finished for the season, was back in the clubhouse Wednesday. "Everything is good," Soriano said. "Hopefully in a week it will feel better."

Copyright 2017 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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Players of the Game

A. Ramirez
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

A. Escobar
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 0

Related Video

Milwaukee Brewers
Felipe Lopez, 2B4221102 .308
Corey Hart, RF5122012 .258
Ryan Braun, LF5021012 .308
Prince Fielder, 1B3110202 .298
Casey McGehee, 3B4111002 .304
Mike Cameron, CF4100103 .255
Jason Kendall, C4100114 .236
Alcides Escobar, SS5243010 .312
Braden Looper, P3011024 .214
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
    Mitch Stetter, P0000000 .000
    Claudio Vargas, P0000000 .000
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
2B - Felipe Lopez (33, Patton), Alcides Escobar (2, Harden)
SF - Casey McGehee (4)
SH - David Weathers (1)
RBI - Felipe Lopez (52), Corey Hart 2 (45), Ryan Braun (101), Casey McGehee (58), Alcides Escobar 3 (11), Braden Looper (8)
2-OUT RBI - Alcides Escobar 3 (4), Braden Looper (6)
Team LOB - 8
DP - F. Lopez-Escobar-Fielder, F. Lopez-Escobar-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
Braden Looper (W,13-6) 5955331 4.89
David Weathers 1.2200000 3.51
Mitch Stetter 0.1200010 3.86
Claudio Vargas (H,8) 1000000 2.12
Todd Coffey 1000010 3.11
Pitches-Strikes - Braden Looper 90-52, David Weathers 19-13, Mitch Stetter 19-12, Claudio Vargas 8-6, Todd Coffey 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Braden Looper 7-5, David Weathers 2-2, Claudio Vargas 1-1, Todd Coffey 2-0
Batters Faced - Braden Looper 27, David Weathers 6, Mitch Stetter 3, Claudio Vargas 2, Todd Coffey 3
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Theriot, SS4130101 .289
Kosuke Fukudome, CF4001005 .256
Derrek Lee, 1B4111121 .307
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4112101 .322
Geovany Soto, C5120002 .228
Milton Bradley, RF2000012 .256
    David Patton, P0000000 .000
    Justin Berg, P0000000 .000
   a- Jake Fox, PH-LF2010011 .284
Mike Fontenot, 2B3010000 .236
   b- So Taguchi, PH1000011 .000
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .231
Bobby Scales, LF-RF4021000 .250
Rich Harden, P0000000 .186
   c- Aaron Miles, PH1110000 .182
    Micah Hoffpauir, RF2000002 .232
    Tom Gorzelanny, P0000000 .222
    Andres Blanco, 2B1010000 .264
a-struck out for Berg in the 5th
b-struck out for Fontenot in the 7th
c-singled for Harden in the 3rd
2B - Ryan Theriot (20, Looper), Mike Fontenot (22, Looper)
HR - Aramis Ramirez (13, Looper)
SF - Kosuke Fukudome (5)
RBI - Kosuke Fukudome (52), Derrek Lee (102), Aramis Ramirez 2 (58), Bobby Scales (12)
SB - Ryan Theriot (19, 2nd base off Looper/Kendall)
Team LOB - 9
Outfield Assists - Jake Fox 1
DP - Ramirez-Blanco-Lee
E - Aramis Ramirez (10, Misplayed grounder), Geovany Soto (5, (Soto picked up the ball with his mask))
Chicago Cubs
Rich Harden (L,9-9) 3552330 4.09
David Patton 1.1444210 6.41
Justin Berg 0.2100000 0.00
Tom Gorzelanny 2100010 4.86
Sean Marshall 2200010 4.52
IBB - Fielder by Rich Harden
WP - Rich Harden (7)
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Harden 71-41, David Patton 33-18, Justin Berg 6-4, Tom Gorzelanny 25-16, Sean Marshall 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Harden 3-4, David Patton 3-0, Justin Berg 1-1, Tom Gorzelanny 2-3, Sean Marshall 2-1
Batters Faced - Rich Harden 18, David Patton 10, Justin Berg 3, Tom Gorzelanny 7, Sean Marshall 6
Game Information
Attendance - 38084
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Dana DeMuth