Saturday, May 31, 2014
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Brewers Batter Cubs For Third Straight Win

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[May 31, 2014]  MILWAUKEE -- A little less than two weeks ago, left-hander Travis Wood took the mound at Wrigley Field and had his way with the Milwaukee Brewers, holding them to two hits in an impressive seven-inning start.

By the time Wood (5-5) faced Milwaukee again Friday at Miller Park, the streaking Brewers had done their homework and it showed as they tagged the Cubs' left-hander for seven runs on four hits and chased him after just 2 2/3 innings in an 11-5 victory.

"That was a rough one," Wood said. "They had a game plan, they stuck to it and they got me."

Four Brewers -- shortstop Jean Segura, right fielder Ryan Braun, second baseman Rickie Weeks and catcher Martin Maldonado -- finished with three hits as Milwaukee finished with 16 on the day, extending a streak of 10 or more hits to nine games.

"We are, no question (a different team offensively)," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Everybody's swinging the bat well and there's no doubt when everybody's hitting like this and there are mistakes made, we're not missing like we were earlier."

Segura and Braun got things started early against Wood.

Segura lined the first pitch right back at the mound and off Wood's glove, allowing him to reach on an infield hit. He scored two pitches later when Braun went opposite-field for his eighth home run of the season.

"It's one of those rare occasions where everybody up and down the lineup is really swinging the bat," said Braun, who is 13-for-27 with seven RBIs since being moved into the No. 2 spot six games ago. "Typically you have a couple of guys swinging well and a couple of other guys not swinging the bat well. I said a few days ago that I thought we were a lot better than we had been up until that point in the season."

Center fielder Carlos Gomez drew a one-out walk then scored on left fielder Khris Davis' RBI double to center. Davis then scored when Weeks singled and Maldonado made it a 5-0 game with a two-out double before Wood finally got out of the inning.

"They hit everything I threw up there," Wood said. "It didn't matter what I threw. They were hacking early and they got to me. ... Three pitches into it, I was two runs down. It's tough to get into a rhythm right there. They got to me early and they did what the needed to do. That's a great team."

Milwaukee added a runs in the second and third before Wood gave way to right-hander Carlos Villanueva.

Villanueva retired the Brewers in order in the fourth but he, too, struggled in the fifth as Milwaukee put four more on the board.

"He tried to battle back, we tried to help him out there," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "Tough, tough start for him today. That happens. 'Villa' tried to come in and hold it down for him a little bit. I know he ended up giving up a four-spot but he gave up some innings."

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All that offense made up for a less-than-sparkling start by Brewers starter Marco Estrada (5-2). The right-hander went six innings and struck out five but also allowed six hits and four walks.

"First inning, he came out outstanding," Roenicke said. "That's as good as I've seen him throw the ball. And I'm thinking, 'OK, he's got it, he's going to have a great game' and then all of a sudden he comes out and walks a couple guys and then for some reason his rhythm gets messed up and the great command he had the first inning is gone."

If there was a bright side for the Cubs, it was a return of their offense. Chicago was shut out in its last two games and had gone 20 innings without scoring a run -- a streak that reached 22 before second baseman Emilio Bonifacio's RBI single in the third.

Chicago scored two in the inning and added another in the sixth on right fielder Nate Schierholtz's second home run of the season.

"We didn't give up," Renteria said. "We scored a couple of runs but we fell behind the eight-ball early and it was just kind of tough to recover."

The Cubs scored two more in the ninth against Milwaukee right-hander Tyler Thornburg.

NOTES: The Cubs made several roster moves on Friday. RHP Hector Rondon was placed on the paternity list and LHP Wesley Wright returned after missing the last two games. RHP Pedro Strop was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list after missing the last three weeks with a strained groin and RHP Blake Parker was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. ... Cubs manager Rick Renteria said RHP Neil Ramirez would close games until Rondon returns. ... Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez is expected to begin a rehab assignment on Sunday with Class A Wisconsin. Ramirez has been out since May 11 with a strained left hamstring.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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