While the streaking Milwaukee Brewers will try to sweep another home series against division rival Chicago, Wily Peralta is hoping a matchup with the Cubs will help him earn his first win of the season.
After a solid performance against Chicago earlier this month, the right-hander will try to duplicate that effort while leading the Brewers to a seventh straight win Sunday afternoon.
A 5-1 victory Saturday was Milwaukee's seventh in a row at Miller Park against the Cubs and 17th in the last 19 matchups there. The hot-hitting Jonathan Lucroy hit an early solo homer, and the Brewers (8-8) took advantage of three errors.
Milwaukee is the first team since the 1977 New York Yankees to reach the .500 mark in its 16th game after dropping eight of its first 10.
"We're making the most of some of the things that have happened the last couple of days," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We're playing better ball, and we're getting some breaks."
Peralta (0-1, 6.19 ERA) will try to follow by earning his first win since Sept. 16. While he's one of the Brewers' top prospects, the right-hander's performance in his most recent start hardly looked promising.
Peralta was charged with a career-high six runs, seven hits and three walks over four-plus innings in Milwaukee's 10-8 win over San Francisco on Tuesday.
"When you have that kind of score and you've got a chance to get a win and you don't get it, that's frustrating," Peralta told the team's website. "But that's going to happen. You forget about it and get ready for the next one."
Peralta, who had a 2.93 ERA in his previous seven major league starts, performed a little better in his only start against Chicago on April 9. He gave up three runs over 6 2-3 innings but the Brewers fell 6-3, their only loss in four games versus the Cubs (5-11) this season.
Peralta is slated to pitch opposite Scott Feldman (0-2, 6.00), who had to skip one start due to tightness in his back. The right-hander hasn't made it through the fifth inning in his first two outings for the Cubs.
He allowed six runs - two earned - over 4 1-3 innings in a 7-6 loss to San Francisco on April 11. Feldman, though, shined in his only start against Milwaukee on June 12, 2010, while with Texas.
He pitched six scoreless innings and struck out six in a 4-3 win at Miller Park, one of his four in 15 starts against NL opponents.
Lucroy will try to keep Feldman from earning another win while adding to his recent turnaround. After batting .167 in his first nine games, the Brewers catcher is 9 for 24 (.375) with three homers and seven RBIs during a six-game hit streak.
Lucroy singled in one of his two at-bats against Feldman while Yuniesky Betancourtis 5 for 16 (.313) with two doubles versus the right-hander.
The Cubs' Starlin Castro , who enters this game with a major league-best 12-game hit streak, went 1 for 4 against Peralta in the win earlier this month.
The Cubs have committed seven of their 15 errors against the Brewers.
"We just have to make plays when we have a chance," starting pitcher Edwin Jackson said. "It is just a matter of going out and doing it."
Milwaukee hasn't won seven straight since July 26-Aug. 1, 2011, a stretch that began with a three-game home sweep over Chicago.
|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) -- Ryan Braun only has five hits in his last 32 at-bats. He's still smiling, though.
Hard not to be happy after hitting a three-run homer Sunday to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs for the team's seventh straight win.
Of Braun's last five hits, four have been longballs.
"It is a lot of fun when you hit home runs," Braun said. "That's the way the game of baseball is sometimes."
Braun was smiling even though he got thrown out of the game by home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi after striking out looking in the eighth inning and tossing his bat in the air. He said the full-count pitch was outside.
"Umpires are human and make mistakes," he said. "It was tough for me because those are the type of pitches I am trying not to swing at. But you just have to move on."
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he knows that Braun is struggling a bit, but is not worried because he is still helping the team win games.
"He's obviously not locked in right now," Roenicke said. "There are pitches that he usually hits that he's missing and fouling."
The seven-game winning streak is the Brewers longest since July 2011. Milwaukee improved to 9-8 after losing eight of 10 to start the year.
"Baseball is a funny game," Braun said. "There is no rhyme or reason for the way things happen sometimes. You just have to keep playing hard and good things usually happen."
Wily Peralta (1-1) pitched 6 2-3 innings for Milwaukee, giving up two runs and five hits. John Axford got the final out of the seventh inning. Tom Gorzelanny pitched a scoreless eighth inning, but walked leadoff hitter Nate Schierholtz in the ninth inning. Jim Henderson replaced him and got three outs for his fourth save in four chances.
For the Cubs, the game again turned on an error. Overall, the Cubs had six errors in the three-game series.
Trailing 2-1 in the fifth, Braun connected after the Brewers received some help putting two runners on. Yuniesky Betancourt hit a line drive to the wall that Cubs center fielder David DeJesus got a glove on but could not hang on to. Then with two outs, Jean Segura hit a grounder that Cubs pitcher Scott Feldman 's tried to field but it bounced off his glove away for an error.
Feldman said he should have made the play to get Segura out and he took the blame for the loss.
"It came down to not being able to field a groundball that I've fielded thousands of times since I was a little kid," he said. "It's like a Little League play. It's terrible but at the same time, I still have to pitch after that and I had the opportunity to get Braun there. I made a mistake and that's what he hits."
Feldman (0-3) gave up four runs on three hits in five innings.
Chicago grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Starlin Castro singled with two outs to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest active streak in the major leagues. Anthony Rizzo followed with his sixth home run of the year.
Milwaukee cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth inning without a base hit. Feldman walked the bases full with one out. Alex Gonzalez knocked in a run on a groundout, but Feldman struck out Carlos Gomez to end the inning.
NOTES: Roenicke said he was unsure if rookie pitcher Hiram Burgos would start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday as the team has an off day on Thursday. Burgos allowed one hit in five innings in his major league debut on Saturday in the Brewers 5-1 win over the Cubs. ... After starting the season 2-1, the Cubs have now won only three of the team's last 14 games. ... Gomez's third inning single was the 500th hit of his major league career.