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Milwaukee at Chicago

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Chi. Cubs (69-87) «00102310x7132

Brewers fall to Cubs behind Garza's six-hitter

CBSSports.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- The celebration is taking longer than the Milwaukee Brewers had hoped or expected. Clinching the NL Central will come down to the final homestand of the season after they lost again Wednesday to the Chicago Cubs.

"It's this way every year when you're close to winning a division," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said after a 7-1 loss.

Matt Garza pitched a six-hitter and Marlon Byrd hit a three-run homer for the Cubs in their Wrigley Field finale.

The loss left the Brewers' magic number for winning the division title and closing out second-place St. Louis remained at three. The Cardinals played the New York Mets on Wednesday night.

The Brewers dropped two of their games against the Cubs and finished 39-42 on the road. They now go to Miller Park to wind up the regular season with a six-game homestand against the Marlins and Pirates beginning Friday.

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"I'm sure we're going to go home and play well," Roenicke said.

"It's nice to clinch at home, but I really don't care. I just want to get it. We would have loved to have done it here."

Garza (9-10), 3-0 in his last five starts, allowed just an unearned run and struck out 10 in pitching his second complete game this season and eighth of his career. He walked one in a 123-pitch effort.

DJ LeMahieu broke a 1-all tie with two-out, two-run double in the fifth off Randy Wolf (13-10). Center fielder Nyjer Morgan appeared to lose the ball in the sun and the drive scored Alfonso Soriano, who had singled, and Starlin Castro, who was intentionally walked as he came to the plate trying for his 200th hit of the season.

"Nyjer, it was one of those tough balls. It didn't get high enough to go above the sun and just stayed right there in the sun," Wolf said. "I wouldn't want to be in center field at that time. It was a tough play."

Byrd's three-run shot, his ninth homer of the season, followed singles by Jeff Baker and Geovany Soto in the sixth.

Wolf, who entered the game with a 1.37 ERA in three previous starts this season against the Cubs, allowed 10 hits and six runs in six innings.

He said his cut fastball not the same after he was hit in the wrist with a pitch by Garza while attempting to bunt in the third inning. He said the wrist was stiff, but he expected to be OK in a couple of days.

"I don't know how much it affected me throwing. My cutter after that wasn't really the same, but it wasn't painful, so I could battle through it," he said.

"For the most part after that, it was OK, not great, but that one inning, I've got a couple of dunk hits and I left a cutter out with Marlon and he punished it."

Wolf said the chance to clinch at home and claim the franchise's first division title since 1982 -- the only time the Brewers made the World Series -- will more than make up for the wait.

"Definitely we want to get it over with. I think the one thing that was a possibility that we really didn't want was to clinch on our off-day [Thursday]. That would have been anticlimactic," he said.

"It will be great to do it at home so we can spray some of the fans with champagne, that's something they've been dying for. Something I definitely want to do to them. Not in a bad way."

Castro's error on a double-play grounder allowed the Brewers to take a 1-0 lead in the third. Yuniesky Betancourt led off with a single and Garza plunked Wolf. Corey Hart hit a grounder toward the middle that Castro reached, but the shortstop's flip was wide of second and Betancourt scored.

Castro made up for it with an RBI single in the bottom half on a hard ball that deflected off third baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. Castro's 199th hit of the season scored Bryan LaHair, who led off with a double.

In his final three plate appearances needing one hit to get to 200, the 21-year-old Castro drew an intentional walk, grounded to short and then walked in the eighth.

"I was excited to try and do it here, to try and see what the fans would do," Castro said.

Cubs manger Mike Quade said when Castro had a 3-0 count in his last at-bat he didn't give him a green light to try and get No. 200 at home. Not with such big lead.

"If you see someone cut lose with that kind of lead, the next one might be in his ribs," Quade said. "Then he's got no shot to get to 200. He'll get it, knock on wood."

Quade said he even asked Garza, who was up before Castro's last at-bat, to strike out and avoid hitting into a double play that could deprive Castro of one more chance.

But Garza did swing and grounded out to the pitcher.

"I'm trying to hit, too, guys," Garza said. "I want 20 wins. I want 200 innings. I want 200-plus strikeouts. I was in my mode, so I'm going to go out there and compete. I'm not going to just give up."


  • Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo will make his 33rd start of the season and second of the season against the Marlins in the series opener. He struck out a career-high 13 in his start last Saturday against the Reds.
  • Castro has reached base in 34 straight games, matching the Cubs' record for a shortstop set in 1929 by Woody English.
  • Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez sat out with a leg injury in what could have been his final home game for the Cubs.
  • A crowd of 30,965 gave the Cubs a home attendance for 2011 of 3,017,966. It marked the eighth straight season the Cubs have drawn more than three million fans. Chicago finished 39-42 at home.
  • Garza's first complete game this season came in a losing effort, 1-0 against the White Sox on July 2.
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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Matt Garza goes the distance, giving up just an unearned run and striking out 10 Brewers. (Getty Images)
Matt Garza goes the distance, giving up just an unearned run and striking out 10 Brewers. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game

M. Byrd
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

M. Garza
IP 9.0
H 6
ER 0
BB 1
K 10

Related Video

Milwaukee Brewers
Corey Hart, RF4010001 .284
Nyjer Morgan, CF4010013 .306
Ryan Braun, LF4000004 .330
Prince Fielder, 1B3000110 .293
Rickie Weeks, 2B3000031 .268
    Michael Fiers, P0000000 .000
   a- Craig Counsell, PH1000000 .171
Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B4020001 .264
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4110002 .248
George Kottaras, C4010034 .248
Randy Wolf, P1000011 .167
    Kameron Loe, P0000000 .000
   b- Taylor Green, PH-2B1000010 .258
a-grounded out for Fiers in the 9th
b-struck out for Loe in the 8th
2B - Jerry Hairston Jr. (18, Garza)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Ryan Braun 1
DP - Betancourt-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
Randy Wolf (L,13-10) 61066151 3.61
Kameron Loe 1311010 3.45
Michael Fiers 1000200 0.00
IBB - Castro by Randy Wolf
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wolf 96-67, Kameron Loe 21-14, Michael Fiers 21-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wolf 7-5, Kameron Loe 1-0, Michael Fiers 2-1
Batters Faced - Randy Wolf 28, Kameron Loe 5, Michael Fiers 5
Chicago Cubs
Starlin Castro, SS3121201 .307
DJ LeMahieu, 3B5122013 .275
Reed Johnson, RF4010012 .314
Jeff Baker, 2B3110000 .273
   a- Blake DeWitt, PH1000001 .260
    Darwin Barney, 2B0000000 .278
Geovany Soto, C4131000 .228
Marlon Byrd, CF4113012 .281
Alfonso Soriano, LF4120011 .243
    Tony Campana, LF0000000 .263
Bryan LaHair, 1B3110112 .375
Matt Garza, P3000012 .097
a-grounded into a double play for Baker in the 7th
2B - Starlin Castro (35, Wolf), DJ LeMahieu (2, Wolf), Geovany Soto (26, Loe), Alfonso Soriano (27, Wolf), Bryan LaHair (5, Wolf)
HR - Marlon Byrd (9, Wolf)
SH - Matt Garza (4)
RBI - Starlin Castro (63), DJ LeMahieu 2 (4), Geovany Soto (53), Marlon Byrd 3 (35)
2-OUT RBI - DJ LeMahieu 2 (3), Geovany Soto (21)
Team LOB - 7
DP - LeMahieu-Baker-LaHair, LeMahieu-Baker-LaHair
E - Starlin Castro (28, Throwing), DJ LeMahieu (3, Dropped fly)
Chicago Cubs
Matt Garza (W,9-10) 96101100 3.35
HBP - Wolf (by Matt Garza)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Garza 123-88
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Garza 7-10
Batters Faced - Matt Garza 35
Game Information
Attendance - 30965
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - Dale Scott, Third Base - Jerry Meals