He will get another chance to prove he can fare well against the Brewers when these NL Central rivals open a four-game set Monday night at Wrigley Field.
Milwaukee (59-67) swept three games at home from Chicago (49-77) last week to improve to 10-3 in the season series including five straight wins.
The Brewers opened last week's set Aug. 20 with a 9-5 victory. Germano (2-3, 5.40 ERA) lasted 4 2-3 innings for the Cubs and was charged with seven runs - six in an eight-run fifth by Milwaukee that chased the right-hander.
The journeyman had not given up that many runs since allowing a career-high 10 at Houston on April 21, 2008, but thought his performance against the Brewers wasn't that bad."People might think I'm crazy, but I feel like I pitched a lot better than the line shows," Germano said. "I got ground balls that last inning. They just hit them where our guys weren't. It's part of the game. A couple inches to the left, a couple inches to the right, I could get out of that inning with just a couple runs. I definitely battled that last inning just trying to get that third out."
Germano could be in better shape one week later since he has pitched better at home, going 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in four appearances - three starts.
Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy homered off Germano last week, and he's 10 for 27 with three homers and 13 RBIs against the Cubs this year. He's not the only Brewers hitter who has enjoyed success against Chicago pitching in 2012.
Norichika Aoki is 13 for 33 (.394) with two homers and Corey Hart is 15 for 42 (.357) with seven doubles and a home run. Ryan Braun , who leads the majors with a .590 slugging percentage, is 13 for 43 (.302).
Chicago pitchers have been careful with Braun and Aramis Ramirez , walking each slugger nine times while the pair has combined for nine RBIs. This is Ramirez's second series at Wrigley since leaving the Cubs after last season, and he went 1 for 11 in the first one April 9-11.
Ramirez, however, enters this set with a .345 average in his last 14 road games. He went 6 for 12 with five RBIs as the Brewers took two of three at Pittsburgh over the weekend.
The Cubs may not be too thrilled to see Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada (1-5, 4.23), who struck out nine over six scoreless innings against them last Tuesday to earn a 5-2 victory - the right-hander's first since Aug. 23, 2011.
"Definitely, that's the best he's thrown all year," Lucroy said. "He controlled his fastball. He controlled his off-speed stuff."
Estrada had made 15 starts and 14 relief appearances since his last victory.
His woes probably pale in comparison to the slide by the Cubs' Chris Volstad , who earned his first victory in 25 starts with 6 2-3 effective innings in Sunday's rain-shortened 5-0 win over Colorado. Chicago took two of three in the weekend set.
|July 29, 2012||Aramis Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Sore left wrist|
|July 17, 2012||Ryan Braun||Day-to-Day||Right thigh strain|
|June 15, 2012||Shaun Marcum||60-Day DL||Right elbow tightness|
|June 15, 2012||Shaun Marcum||60-Day DL||Right elbow tightness|
|June 02, 2012||Aramis Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained left quadricep|
|May 31, 2012||Ryan Braun||Day-to-Day||Tight Achilles|
|July 28, 2012||Matt Garza||60-Day DL||Stress reaction, right elbow|
|July 21, 2012||Matt Garza||Day-to-Day||Left game - right triceps cramp|
|June 16, 2012||Ryan Dempster||15-Day DL||Right lat tightness|
|June 13, 2012||Ian Stewart||60-Day DL||Left wrist surgery|
|June 02, 2012||Blake Parker||60-Day DL||Stress reaction in right elbow|
|May 19, 2012||Welington Castillo||15-Day DL||Sprained right knee|
CHICAGO (AP) -- Aramis Ramirez spent nine years watching games from the home dugout at Wrigley Field. He enjoyed the view from the visitor's side much better Monday night.
Ramirez hit two of Milwaukee's five homers to lead the Brewers to a 15-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs .
Ramirez, who played for the Cubs from 2003-11, hit a two-run shot in the fifth and a solo homer in the ninth as Milwaukee beat Chicago for the sixth straight time.
"In the summer it's a great place to play baseball and be a hitter," Ramirez said of his old ballpark.
Ramirez's second homer followed a three-run shot by Ryan Braun that landed on Waveland Avenue, his NL-leading 35th of the season. Braun had four hits and five RBIs.
Corey Hart followed Ramirez with another shot that reached Waveland, giving Milwaukee back-to-back-to-back homers for the first time since Sept. 9, 2007 at Cincinnati, when Rickie Weeks , J.J. Hardy and Braun began the game with home runs.
"I don't remember ever being a part of it other than the time we led off the game," Braun said. "It's not going to happen very often, so you try and enjoy that moment when it does happen."
The Brewers sent 14 batters to the plate and tacked on nine runs and eight hits in the ninth, finishing with a season-high 21 hits.
"Obviously in the ninth inning it got out of hand," Braun said. "But up until then it was a really close game, tightly contested."
Utilityman Joe Mather got the final out of the inning for Chicago, the first position player to pitch for the Cubs since Gary Gaetti on July 3, 1999.
"Fastball and a hanging curve, apparently," Mather joked when asked to describe his repertoire.
Carlos Gomez had four hits, including his 14th homer, and all nine Brewers in the starting lineup hit safely.
Marco Estrada (2-5) allowed three unearned runs over five innings and struck out eight. His only other victory this season came against the Cubs on Aug. 21, when he struck out nine in six innings.
Justin Germano (2-4) gave up five runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings and has lost to Milwaukee in two straight outings. He gave up seven runs in 4 2-3 innings against the Brewers in his last outing on Aug. 20.
"I made three mistakes that led to four runs," Germano said. "It's just hard to be perfect but I have to work on the mistakes that I make, or at least who I make them to."
All three ninth-inning homers came off Alex Hinshaw , who was pitching for the second time since being claimed off waivers from San Diego on Aug. 19.
Brett Jackson hit his third homer in four games and walked twice for Chicago. Alfonso Soriano added two doubles and drove in a run.
The Brewers improved to 18-5 against the Cubs since the 2011 All-Star break, while Chicago has dropped 19 of 25 overall since the July 31 trade deadline.
"(Cubs fans) also have to understand that it's a process and that the new front office came in with a plan and they're going to execute it," Ramirez said. "It's going to be painful. Right now they don't have a good product on the field. I'm pretty sure they're smart people. They have a good game plan going."
Milwaukee erased a two-run deficit on consecutive pitches in the fifth. Braun rolled a double just past the third base to score Weeks. Ramirez then clubbed Germano's first pitch into the bleachers in left to give the Brewers the lead.
Ramirez hit 239 homers in nine seasons during his time with the Cubs, but went 1 for 11 in his first series against his former team at Wrigley Field on April 9-11.
Ramirez, who is 8 for 16 with eight RBIs over his last four games, added an RBI double, his major league-leading 43rd double of the season.
"He's hitting the ball every night," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He's hitting the ball. It's fun to watch."
Jackson, Chicago's rookie center fielder, hit his fourth homer leading off the sixth off Kameron Loe to cut the lead to 5-4.
NOTES: Cubs 3B Josh Vitters went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts, falling to 5 for 53 with 19 strikeouts since being recalled from Triple-A Iowa. ... The Cubs acquired C Anthony Recker from Oakland for C/1B Blake Lalli and assigned him to Triple-A Iowa. Chicago also designated LHP Scott Maine for assignment. ... The Cubs were looking to win consecutive games for the first time since winning three straight July 28-30.