Milwaukee at Chicago

Chi. Cubs
W: S. Marcum (1-0) L: S. Camp (0-1)
S: J. Axford (1)
HR: MIL - R. Weeks (2)   CHC - D. Barney (1),B. LaHair (1)

Brewers 7, Cubs 5 wire reports

CHICAGO -- A big lead was slipping away and John Axford's stomach was churning. He held his composure and the Brewers hung on, too.

Aramis Ramirez drove in two runs in his return to Wrigley Field, Ryan Braun got booed relentlessly and Milwaukee walked off with a 7-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.

The Brewers were sailing along with a four-run lead going into the ninth when things got real interesting. The Cubs scored two and had the bases loaded when Axford struck out Starlin Castro looking on three pitches to end the game.

"They seem to get very interesting when I'm out there at times," Axford said.

This one sure took a dramatic late turn.

Axford came in with runners on first and third with one out, and Ramirez immediately booted Marlon Byrd's grounder to third, allowing one run to score. A pinch-hitting Steve Clevenger drove a run-scoring single to center that Carlos Gomez misplayed, putting runners on second and third and making it a two-run game.

After David DeJesus struck out, Darwin Barney walked to load the bases, but Axford struck out Castro for his first save.

"We're never gonna give up," LaHair said. "We're going to take every at-bat like it's our last."

Shaun Marcum (1-0) settled down after a shaky start and gave up three runs in six solid innings. Rickie Weeks homered to help the Brewers start the four-game series on a winning note after getting pounded twice while dropping two of three at home to St. Louis.

Ramirez got a mixed reaction from fans in a successful homecoming, driving in the game's first run with a sacrifice fly and adding an RBI double in the seventh that made it 6-3.

"It was good for Rami, I know he's fired up," manager Ron Roenicke said. "The adrenaline is a little bit different when you come back home.

That came after Matt Gamel hit a run-scoring triple off Shawn Camp (0-1) and scored in the sixth, breaking a 3-3 tie.

That was enough for Marcum, who gave up solo homers to Barney and Bryan LaHair in the first two innings but not much after that.

The reaction for Ramirez was hardly a surprise, considering fans often questioned his effort during his eight-plus seasons in Chicago. Nor was the reception for Braun, who had two hits and scored a run. The reigning NL MVP's potential 50-game suspension for a positive drug test was overturned, but the scar to his reputation figures to linger.

One fan in the left-field bleachers brought a large "Cheater" sign. Another held up one that read "Bonds: 762" on one line with "Braun: MVP" on the second and an asterisk with the word "Cheaters" on the third. Just about everyone let him hear it in his first road game, and he might as well get used to it.

"Braun has been one of the best players in the big leagues for the last four years, so he's always catching some sort of razzing from fans," Axford said. "This year it's just going to be a little different."

Marcum, meanwhile, looked as if he might not last long in this one, with Barney driving a ball to the left-field basket in the first and LaHair clearing the right-field bleachers to make it 2-1 in the second - Chicago's first homers this season.

Weeks tied it at 2 with a laser off Chris Volstad just inside the left-field foul pole leading off the third, and Alex Gonzalez gave the Brewers a 3-2 lead in the fourth when he doubled and scored from third on Marcum's squeeze.

The Cubs tied it in the fifth, but the Brewers quickly regained the lead, sending old friend Dale Sveum and the Cubs to their third loss in four games.

Volstad, acquired from Miami in the Carlos Zambrano trade, allowed three runs and five hits after the Cubs got dominant starts from Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija against Washington.

"You want to push each other," Volstad said. "I was trying to go out there and do what Jeff did last night. ... As a staff, I think we're feeling pretty good."


Castro had reached safely in 43 straight games for Chicago dating to Aug. 15 before going 0-for-5. ... Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Wednesday would be a "logical" day to give OF Corey Hart a day of rest since it's a day game after a night game. Hart had surgery on his right knee in March and left this game in the seventh. ... Chris Narveson starts Tuesday's game for Milwaukee, with Paul Maholm pitching for Chicago.

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

B. LaHair
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

M. Gamel
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0

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February 3, 2017
NL Central Preview: Milwaukee Brewers (2:24)
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B5111021 .278
Nyjer Morgan, CF-RF5120010 .154
Ryan Braun, LF4120120 .375
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3012111 .143
Corey Hart, RF3110122 .417
    Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
    Francisco Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
   a- Cesar Izturis, PH1000001 .000
    Manny Parra, P0000000 .000
    Tim Dillard, P0000000 .000
    John Axford, P0000000 .000
Mat Gamel, 1B4221002 .286
Alex Gonzalez, SS4120002 .214
Jonathan Lucroy, C2001012 .250
Shaun Marcum, P2001011 .000
    Carlos Gomez, CF0001000 .500
a-lined out for Rodriguez in the 9th
2B - Ryan Braun (3, Volstad), Aramis Ramirez (2, Camp), Alex Gonzalez (2, Volstad)
3B - Mat Gamel (1, Camp)
HR - Rickie Weeks (2, Volstad)
SF - Aramis Ramirez (1), Jonathan Lucroy (1)
SH - Shaun Marcum (1), Carlos Gomez (1)
RBI - Rickie Weeks (2), Aramis Ramirez 2 (4), Mat Gamel (1), Jonathan Lucroy (1), Shaun Marcum (1), Carlos Gomez (3)
2-OUT RBI - Aramis Ramirez (2)
SB - Ryan Braun (1, 2nd base off Volstad/Soto), Mat Gamel (1, 2nd base off L. Castillo/Soto)
CS - Nyjer Morgan (1, 3rd base by Camp/Soto)
Team LOB - 7
DP - A. Gonzalez-Weeks-Gamel
E - Carlos Gomez (2, Misplayed grounder), Alex Gonzalez (1, Throwing), Aramis Ramirez (1, Misplayed grounder)
Milwaukee Brewers
Shaun Marcum (W,1-0) 6533062 4.50
Jose Veras (H,1) 1100110 0.00
Francisco Rodriguez 1000100 0.00
Manny Parra 0.1111000 7.71
Tim Dillard0011100 15.00
John Axford (S,1) 0.2100120 13.50
Pitches-Strikes - Shaun Marcum 88-61, Jose Veras 15-9, Francisco Rodriguez 10-6, Manny Parra 7-4, Tim Dillard 7-3, John Axford 26-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shaun Marcum 5-7, Francisco Rodriguez 1-1, Manny Parra 1-0, John Axford 1-0
Batters Faced - Shaun Marcum 23, Jose Veras 5, Francisco Rodriguez 3, Manny Parra 2, Tim Dillard 1, John Axford 5
Chicago Cubs
David DeJesus, RF5010034 .167
Darwin Barney, 2B3111200 .267
Starlin Castro, SS5000024 .278
Alfonso Soriano, LF4010011 .308
Ian Stewart, 3B4110001 .250
Bryan LaHair, 1B4121011 .444
Geovany Soto, C2210210 .222
Marlon Byrd, CF4001013 .067
Chris Volstad, P1000001 .000
   a- Blake DeWitt, PH0001000 .000
    Shawn Camp, P0000000 .000
   b- Reed Johnson, PH1000002 .167
    Lendy Castillo, P0000000 .000
    James Russell, P0000000 .000
   c- Steve Clevenger, PH1011000 .500
    Jeff Samardzija, PR0000000 .000
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Volstad in the 5th
b-flied out for Camp in the 7th
c-singled for Russell in the 9th
2B - Ian Stewart (1, Parra)
3B - Geovany Soto (1, Marcum)
HR - Darwin Barney (1, Marcum), Bryan LaHair (1, Marcum)
SF - Blake DeWitt (1)
RBI - Darwin Barney (1), Bryan LaHair (1), Marlon Byrd (2), Blake DeWitt (1), Steve Clevenger (1)
CS - David DeJesus (1, 2nd base by Marcum/Lucroy)
Team LOB - 7
Chicago Cubs
Chris Volstad 5533261 5.40
Shawn Camp (L,0-1) 2533020 8.10
Lendy Castillo 0.2111000 13.50
James Russell 1.1000120 0.00
HBP - Lucroy (by Lendy Castillo)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Volstad 87-49, Shawn Camp 32-21, Lendy Castillo 8-4, James Russell 22-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Volstad 3-6, Shawn Camp 1-2, Lendy Castillo 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Volstad 22, Shawn Camp 10, Lendy Castillo 4, James Russell 5
Game Information
Attendance - 38136
Game Time - 3:22
Temperature - 57
Umpires - Home - Adrian Johnson, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Field Culbreth