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Milwaukee at Chicago

Scoreboard
Milwaukee (39-30) «0002302119142
Chi. Cubs (27-40)100030010591

Brewers take down Cubs to take first place in Central

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- The Milwaukee Brewers were looking for a spark, and Rickie Weeks was there to provide it.

Weeks homered and doubled twice as the Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 9-5 on a wet Wednesday night to take sole possession of the NL Central lead.

Milwaukee moved one game ahead of St. Louis in the division on a night when heavy rain delayed the start by 1 hour, 42 minutes. Weeks gave the Brewers the kick at the top of the order and the rest of the lineup followed his lead.

"Just trying to get some points on the board," he said. "It feels good to get some hits and help the pitchers out."

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Ryan Braun doubled twice, singled and scored three runs for the Brewers. Corey Hart also had three hits. Hart, Casey McGehee, Yuniesky Betancourt and Jonathan Lucroy all drove in two runs.

After wasting terrific starts by Randy Wolf and Yovani Gallardo while losing the first two games of this series by one run, Milwaukee overcame a shaky effort by Chris Narveson (4-4).

The Brewers stopped a two-game losing streak, their longest since they ended a seven-game slide in early May. They had gone a team-record 35 games without consecutive losses before this mini-skid.

In the process, they jumped from a fifth-place tie to the top of the division and were coming off an impressive weekend sweep of the Cardinals. Now, they will try to salvage a four-game split against a team that had dropped 11 of 13 before taking the first two.

Narveson lasted just 5 1/3 innings, giving up a solo homer to Jeff Baker in the first and a three-run drive to Reed Johnson in the fifth. He was nowhere near as impressive as he was on Friday, when he threw eight scoreless innings against St. Louis but he got the win, anyway.

The Cubs still haven't won more than two straight, and they came up short again with a chance finally to get to three in a row. They insist they are capable, that they will go on a run at some point.

"We're always giving ourselves a chance," Johnson said.

Zambrano (5-4) simply didn't have it and fell to 1-3 in his last eight starts. Big Z got tagged for five runs and nine hits in six innings, before the returning Alfonso Soriano batted for him in the sixth.

"It was up to me to get the third," he said. "I couldn't do it. At the same time, I have to hold my head up. Sooner or later, the streak will come."

The Brewers staked Narveson to a 5-1 lead by scoring two in the fourth and three with two out in the fifth. A two-run double by McGehee and Hart's double off third baseman Aramis Ramirez's glove made it a four-run game, but the Cubs got nearly all of it back in the bottom half.

Narveson started it by walking Zambrano and Starlin Castro. Johnson then made it a one-run game when he homered to the last row of the bleachers in left field, a fan reaching up and catching the ball using his cap. But that's as close as Chicago got.

Betancourt made it a three-run game with a two-run bases-loaded single off Chris Carpenter in the seventh, and Weeks increased it to 8-4 with a solo homer off John Grabow in the eighth.

"It was really good offensive production, two out hits," manager Ron Roenicke said.

McGehee gained some redemption after committing two early errors. The double in the fifth stopped a 6-for-54 skid.

"It definitely felt good, especially the way the game started out," he said. "I feel like my at-bats have been getting a whole lot better. It just seemed like I've been finding guys to hit them at recently."

Notes

  • The Cubs activated Soriano and placed 2B Darwin Barney on the 15-day DL because of a sprained left knee. The team leader with 12 home runs, Soriano had been sidelined since May 30 because of a strained left quad. He struck out batting for Zambrano and left the game. Barney injured his knee while sliding during Monday's game against Milwaukee.
  • The Brewers outrighted C Wil Nieves to Triple-A Nashville and purchased C George Kottaras' contract from the minor league club before the game. Afterward, they optioned LHP Zach Braddock to Nashville and called up Daniel Herrera, who will join them Thursday.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Rickie Weeks causes plenty of havoc during a long night at Wrigley Field that ends happily for Milwaukee.  (Getty Images)
Rickie Weeks causes plenty of havoc during a long night at Wrigley Field that ends happily for Milwaukee. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

R. Weeks
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Chicago

R. Johnson
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Rickie Weeks, 2B5131000 .288
Nyjer Morgan, CF5010020 .326
Ryan Braun, LF5330012 .311
Prince Fielder, 1B2310312 .302
Casey McGehee, 3B4212014 .229
Corey Hart, RF4032100 .286
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS5012015 .231
Jonathan Lucroy, C4012012 .272
Chris Narveson, P3000022 .154
    Tim Dillard, P0000000 .000
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
   a- Josh Wilson, PH1000000 .273
    Kameron Loe, P0000000 .000
   b- Mark Kotsay, PH1000012 .252
    John Axford, P0000000 .000
Totals399149410  
a-grounded out for Hawkins in the 8th
b-struck out for Loe in the 9th
Batting
2B - Rickie Weeks 2 (18, Zambrano, Zambrano), Ryan Braun 2 (15, Zambrano, Zambrano), Casey McGehee (12, Zambrano), Corey Hart (10, Zambrano)
HR - Rickie Weeks (13, Grabow)
SF - Jonathan Lucroy (2)
RBI - Rickie Weeks (31), Casey McGehee 2 (27), Corey Hart 2 (19), Yuniesky Betancourt 2 (22), Jonathan Lucroy 2 (29)
2-OUT RBI - Casey McGehee 2 (14), Corey Hart (6), Yuniesky Betancourt 2 (10), Jonathan Lucroy (16)
CS - Ryan Braun (4, 2nd base by Russell/Soto)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Casey McGehee 2 (13, Throwing)
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Narveson (W,4-4) 5.1544352 4.48
Tim Dillard (H,1) 0.2000010 2.53
LaTroy Hawkins (H,7) 1100010 0.52
Kameron Loe 1211000 5.35
John Axford 1100130 2.87
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Narveson 88-54, Tim Dillard 10-7, LaTroy Hawkins 12-10, Kameron Loe 13-8, John Axford 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Narveson 7-6, LaTroy Hawkins 1-1, Kameron Loe 3-0
Batters Faced - Chris Narveson 26, Tim Dillard 2, LaTroy Hawkins 4, Kameron Loe 5, John Axford 5
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Starlin Castro, SS4100114 .305
Reed Johnson, CF5123000 .368
Jeff Baker, 1B4111121 .347
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5010022 .277
Geovany Soto, C4000123 .213
Luis Montanez, RF3010001 .290
   a- Kosuke Fukudome, PH-RF2000012 .293
Blake DeWitt, LF4120000 .283
DJ LeMahieu, 2B4021001 .250
Carlos Zambrano, P1100112 .313
   b- Alfonso Soriano, PH1000011 .270
    James Russell, P0000000 .125
    Chris Carpenter, P0000000 .000
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
   c- Tony Campana, PH1000000 .239
    Rodrigo Lopez, P0000000 .000
Totals38595410  
a-grounded out for Montanez in the 8th
b-struck out for Zambrano in the 6th
c-grounded out for Grabow in the 8th
Batting
2B - Blake DeWitt (7, Loe)
HR - Reed Johnson (3, Narveson), Jeff Baker (2, Narveson)
RBI - Reed Johnson 3 (21), Jeff Baker (15), DJ LeMahieu (1)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Baker (11)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Luis Montanez 1
E - Starlin Castro (15, Missed catch of throw)
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Carlos Zambrano (L,5-4) 6955260 4.59
James Russell 0.1120110 5.30
Chris Carpenter 0.2100110 0.00
John Grabow 1111001 4.71
Rodrigo Lopez 1211020 6.57
IBB - Fielder by Carlos Zambrano
HBP - McGehee (by Rodrigo Lopez)
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 110-70, James Russell 14-8, Chris Carpenter 16-11, John Grabow 14-8, Rodrigo Lopez 22-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 7-4, John Grabow 3-0
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 28, James Russell 3, Chris Carpenter 4, John Grabow 4, Rodrigo Lopez 6
Game Information
Attendance - 39821
Game Time - 3:02
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez