A visit to Chicago might be what the Milwaukee Brewers need to get back on track after a rough opening week.
Looking to win consecutive games for the first time in 2013, the visiting Brewers try to continue their recent success over the rival Cubs by handing them a fifth straight defeat Tuesday night.
Norichika Aoki and Ryan Braun each had three hits and Martin Maldonado three RBIs as Milwaukee (2-5) snapped a five-game slide with a 7-4 win at Chicago on Monday. The Brewers scored four times in the first inning then held on during a windy day at Wrigley Field."It's just nice to win," Braun said. "We needed to win."
Milwaukee has outscored Chicago (2-5) 69-34 while winning nine of 10 in the series between these border rivals. The Brewers also have won 21 of the last 27, including seven of nine at Wrigley.
Braun had two doubles Monday after missing the previous three games due to spasms on the right side of his neck."He swung the bat great, but just having him in the lineup makes a difference," manager Ron Roenicke said.
The slugger is 7 for 14 with five RBIs in the four games he has played in 2013, and is batting .615 (16 for 26) with seven doubles and 10 RBIs in his last six versus Chicago.
Aoki is batting .419 (13 for 31) this season and .500 (20 for 40) in his last 10 games against the Cubs.
After Marco Estrada yielded two runs in seven innings Monday to bounce back from a subpar 2013 debut, scheduled Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta hopes for a better performance than his first outing of 2013.
Big things are expected of Peralta after he went 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in five September starts last season, but the right-hander allowed four runs, six hits and walked three in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-3 loss to Colorado on Wednesday."He's got great stuff, but he's got to learn to get it over the plate," Roenicke said. "At times, his sinker was great - 95 (mph), 96, down in the zone, but consistently, he couldn't repeat pitches. His slider was basically not there."
Peralta makes his first appearance against the Cubs, who hope Travis Wood can put forth another strong performance after he allowed one hit and two walks in six scoreless innings of Chicago's last win, 3-2 at Pittsburgh on Thursday.
The left-hander went 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA versus Milwaukee last season.
Catcher Welington Castillo hit a two-run homer Monday and was one of four players with two hits for the Cubs, who went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Chicago left the bases loaded in the ninth after Starlin Castro flew out to the warning track with the wind blowing in for the final out.
The Cubs have totaled 17 runs and are 6 for 44 (.136) with runners in scoring position through seven games.
"Nobody's pressing right now," manager Dale Sveum , told the Cubs' official website. "It's just a matter of getting everybody together."
Castro, who had two hits in the series opener, is 5 for 14 (.357) in three games after going 3 for 16 in the first four. He's batting .395 in 19 career games against the Brewers at Wrigley.
After going 0 for 4 in the home opener, Chicago's Anthony Rizzo is 4 for 25 (.160) this season.
|April 08, 2013||Chris Narveson||15-Day DL||Sprained middle finger|
|April 07, 2013||Jean Segura||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised left quad|
|April 06, 2013||Aramis Ramirez||15-Day DL||Left knee sprain|
|April 05, 2013||Ryan Braun||Day-to-Day||Neck spasms|
|March 25, 2013||Mark Rogers||15-Day DL||Right shoulder instability|
|March 22, 2013||Taylor Green||15-Day DL||Left hip labral injury|
|March 31, 2013||Scott Baker||60-Day DL||Strained right elbow|
|March 31, 2013||Darwin Barney||15-Day DL||Left knee laceration|
|March 27, 2013||Arodys Vizcaino||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|March 22, 2013||Ian Stewart||15-Day DL||Strained left quad|
|March 22, 2013||Matt Garza||15-Day DL||Strained left lat|
|March 03, 2013||Matt Garza||Day-to-Day||Strained left lat|
CHICAGO (AP) -- It was a typical cold, windy night at Wrigley Field that had Scott Hairston a bit concerned.
Hairston had a go-ahead pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the eighth inning and David DeJesus added a two-run single, lifting the Chicago Cubs over the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 on Tuesday night.
"Halfway to first, I had some doubts," Hairston said. "Initially, when I hit it, I thought it was hit hard enough to score the run, but that wind was howling."
After Dioner Navarro drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases, Alfredo Figaro relieved and Hairston lofted a high fly to Carlos Gomez in shallow center. Nate Schierholtz tagged up and just beat Gomez's throw at the plate.
"My heart kind of dropped when I saw the throw being made," Hairston said, "because it was a good throw."
Carlos Marmol (1-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win, and Kyuji Fujikawa worked a scoreless ninth for his second save, stranding two runners when he got Jonathan Lucroy to pop out.
The Cubs rallied from an early 3-0 deficit.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was in the dugout after spending part of the day at a hospital emergency room because of back pain.
One day after being demoted as the Brewers' closer, John Axford (0-2) allowed a leadoff double to Schierholtz in the eighth. Schierholtz advanced to third on Welington Castillo 's sacrifice bunt and Luis Valbuena was intentionally walked, setting up Hairston's heroics.
Axford, who got one out to end the seventh, has given up six earned runs in four appearances.
"I was told pretty much right away I was going back out. I was maybe more surprised at the situation. Tie ballgame, I was out there again," Axford said.
Roenicke said his choices were limited with a taxed bullpen.
The gametime temperature was 39 degrees and there was a steady wind. The Brewers took advantage of two Cubs errors to score three runs in the second.
"Those elements, both sides, you can tell they were a little defensive playing defense because you can't feel the baseball or anything like that," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
Sveum was forced to go with Marmol in the eighth with Shawn Camp being limited because of a heavy workload. Marmol was met with plenty of boos on opening day because of his early struggles.
"Camp was down today, so he was going to pitch in that situation with Camp down," Sveum said. "Nothing but right-handed hitters coming at you, they all have great numbers off left-handed pitching. Whatever situation I am bringing him, he's basically just not the closer anymore."
Gomez led off with a single and scored from first on Jean Segura 's double. Yuniesky Betancourt reached on an infield single and Castillo, the catcher, made a wild pickoff throw to second. Shortstop Starlin Castro then made a low throw to the plate on a grounder, followed by a diving stop but off-target flip on an infield single.
A throwing error by third baseman Alex Gonzalez helped the Cubs come back in the fifth, setting up Anthony Rizzo 's RBI grounder.
Chicago scored twice in the seventh to make it 3-all. Castro had an RBI grounder and Rizzo doubled home the tying run.
Cubs starter Travis Wood pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up two earned run and seven hits.
"I have been fortunate to throw the ball well in my last two outings," Wood said. "I ran into trouble in the second and I was able to come back after that and go into in the seventh. I had a high pitch count after the first two innings, but I was able to settle in and have some quick innings, get deep in the game, keep us in the game and the hitters did their job and we pulled it out."
Notes: Brewers RHP Kyle Lohse is Wednesday night's scheduled starter. He allowed one run in six innings in his Milwaukee debut on Friday. RHP Scott Feldman is the scheduled starter for the Cubs on Wednesday. He gave up four runs and five hits in a loss to the Braves on Friday.