With their early struggles behind them, the surging Brewers look for their 16th win in 18 home games against the Cubs and fifth straight victory overall Friday night.
Riding a club-record scoreless streak and three innings shy of falling to 2-9, the Brewers (6-8) seemed to gain some momentum Sunday when they scored four runs over the final three innings in a 4-3, 10-inning victory at St. Louis.
The good vibes from that win carried over into their series against San Francisco as they wrapped up a three-game sweep with a 7-2 victory Thursday.
"Anytime you play that well in a series against a really good ballclub, it should build up a lot of confidence in what we're doing," manager Ron Roenicke told MLB's official website.
Now the Brewers have a chance to keep things rolling against a Chicago team they've dominated at home in recent years. They've won five straight over the Cubs at Miller Park and outscored them 82-56 during a 15-2 run that dates to April 9, 2011.
Milwaukee will send right-hander Marco Estrada to the mound as he looks to win his fourth straight start against the Cubs.
Estrada (1-0, 4.50 ERA) gave up two runs over seven innings in a 7-4 win at Wrigley Field on April 8. He's gone 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA while striking out 27 over 24 innings in four starts against Chicago.
Starlin Castro , though, has done some damage against Estrada, going 5 for 12 with two doubles and a triple. He's also batting .356 (16 for 45) with seven extra-base hits and five RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak.
Catcher Wellington Castillo, who homered off Estrada at Wrigley, may get a chance to build on his career-best 4-for-4 performance in a 6-2 win over Texas on Thursday.
"If he can swing the bat like this all year long we've got something really special because the defense he has behind the plate is one of the best in baseball," manager Dale Sveum said.
Chicago (5-9) turns to right-hander Jeff Samardzija as it begins a 10-game road trip.
After shutting out Pittsburgh over eight innings in an opening-day victory, Samardzija (1-2, 2.75) has allowed six runs in 11 2-3 innings while dropping his last two starts.
He's 0-2 with a 3.18 ERA in three starts against the Brewers.
While Braun has two hits - both homers - in 22 at-bats over his last six games, he's 6 for 13 with a home run versus Samardzija.
Lucroy looks to continue his recent tear, going 7 for 17 with two homers and five RBIs in his last four games. The catcher, however, is 0 for 7 with four strikeouts against Samardzija.
The Brewers totaled 21 runs in the three games versus the Giants after scoring seven over the previous four contests.
|April 14, 2013||Steve Clevenger||60-Day DL||Left oblique strain|
|April 13, 2013||Steve Clevenger||Day-to-Day||Left oblique injury|
|April 13, 2013||Kyuji Fujikawa||15-Day DL||Strained right forearm|
|March 31, 2013||Darwin Barney||15-Day DL||Left knee laceration|
|March 31, 2013||Scott Baker||60-Day DL||Strained right elbow|
|March 31, 2013||Darwin Barney||15-Day DL||Left knee laceration|
|April 12, 2013||Alex Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Left hand contusion|
|April 07, 2013||Jean Segura||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised left quad|
|April 07, 2013||Chris Narveson||15-Day DL||Sprained middle finger|
|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|
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Jean Segura produced a memorable piece of baserunning that outshined Ryan Braun 's three-run homer.
Segura somehow wound up safe at first base after attempting to steal third, only to later be thrown out attempting to steal second base again in Milwaukee's 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.
"It's just a weird moment," Segura said.
That's an understatement.
Segura led off the eighth inning with a single and stole second before Braun walked. Segura attempted to steal third, but Shawn Camp didn't deliver a pitch. Instead, he threw to third well ahead of Segura, who turned and went back to second.
Braun was there, and shortstop Luis Valbuena tagged both runners as they stood on the bag.
The rules say only the trailing runner is out in that case, but Segura trotted down the line toward first base and the home dugout, then appeared to realize what had happened and sped into the unoccupied base.
"I was surprised because I was going to the dugout," he said.
He later attempted a straight steal of second, but Cubs catcher Welington Castillo threw him out.
"I don't know if that's ever happened in the history of the game - a guy steals second and gets thrown out trying to steal second in the same inning," Chicago manager Dale Sveum said.
Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke gave Segura a pass for his blunder after the game, meeting with the young shortstop for a few moments in a quiet conversation in the locker room.
"Seg is 23 years old, he's got all kinds of energy," Roenicke said. "He's going to make some mistakes. We know that. But his pluses are so good. The mistakes are going to happen."
Rule 7.08(i) allows a runner to go backwards on the bases unless he is trying to confuse the defense or make a travesty of the game.
"After he has acquired legal possession of a base, he runs the bases in reverse order for the purpose of confusing the defense or making a travesty of the game," the rule states. "The umpire shall immediately call `Time' and declare the runner out; If a runner touches an unoccupied base and then thinks the ball was caught or is decoyed into returning to the base he last touched, he may be put out running back to that base, but if he reaches the previously occupied base safely he cannot be put out while in contact with that base."
Umpire Phil Cuzzi said he had never seen such a play, and Tom Hallion, the crew chief, called the play bizarre.
"Technically, he stole second, stole first, then got thrown out stealing second," Hallion told a pool reporter, although Segura is not credited with a steal of first.
It didn't matter, though, because Braun went deep against Jeff Samardzija (1-3) and the Brewers won their fifth straight.
"It's a good thing we're still able to win a game despite something like that happening," Braun said after homering for the second consecutive game. "Clearly a confusing play," Braun said. "I've never been a part of anything like that. I think it's pretty simple what's supposed to happen, but as far as the ruling goes I have no idea what their supposed to do, what's normal."
"It was actually a simple play until he came off the base," Braun said, jokingly saying he was angry to be credited with a caught stealing on the play.
Anthony Rizzo hit his fifth homer of the year for the Cubs.
Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada (2-0) pitched out of trouble in his six innings, getting three double plays and holding the Cubs hitless in six at-bats with runners in scoring position. The right-hander gave up three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four.
Jim Henderson pitched the ninth for his third save in three chances.
Sveum was ejected in the sixth inning by home plate umpire Chris Guccione for arguing a called ball from Samardzija on a 2-2 pitch to Braun.
Samardzija had some tough luck in the first, needing 27 pitches to retire the Brewers. Norichika Aoki reached on a fielding error by Rizzo at first base to open the inning.
Aoki broke for second on the first pitch to Segura. The Brewers shortstop hit the ball squarely to the right side of the infield in what could have been an easy double play ball, but Darwin Barney had vacated the spot to cover second and the ball went into right field for a single, with Aoki taking third.
Braun then hit the fifth pitch from Samardzija for his fourth home run to give the Brewers a 3-0 lead.
"You have to get him early," Braun said. "You saw it tonight. Once he settles in, he's as tough as anybody in baseball."
Rickie Weeks followed with a bloop double down the right-field line, and Jonathan Lucroy hit a liner into the right-field corner for a triple, scoring Weeks and giving Milwaukee a 4-0 lead.
Chicago came within 4-3 in the third when Luis Valbuena led off with his second homer of the year, Samardzija walked and David DeJesus homered to right for his second of the year.
Carlos Gomez led off the seventh with his second homer to make it 5-3.
Samardzija pitched seven innings, giving up five runs, four earned, on six hits and a walk while striking out four. He retired 11 consecutive batters between the second and sixth innings.
Rizzo led off the eighth a homer to right off reliever Tom Gorzelanny , his fifth of the year, to pull Chicago within 5-4.
For the game, the Cubs went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Chicago is batting .144 (16 for 111) with runners in scoring position this season.
NOTES: Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers watched the game from a luxury suite. Braun did Rodgers touchdown dance move after hitting his home run. ... Starlin Castro singled in the third to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. ... The Cubs claimed OF Julio Borbon off waivers from Texas on Friday. ... Brewers INF Taylor Green will have surgery on his left hip and will miss the season. ... The Brewers recalled RHP Hiram Buros from Triple-A Nashville Friday. He will start Saturday in his major-league debut. ... The Brewers have won six consecutive games and 16 of 18 against the Cubs at Miller Park.