Tuesday, September 02, 2014
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Cubs hang loss on Brewers behind Castillo, Sole

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[September 02, 2014]  CHICAGO -- There's no master plan that's allowed Chicago Cubs rookie Jorge Soler such an early hot bat.

"The success is not as easy as it looks," the Cuban outfielder said through a translator after going 2-for-4 with two doubles in his Wrigley Field debut on Monday. "I'm just very conscious at the plate and just trying to make the best out of it and just taking it pitch-by-pitch."

Catcher Welington Castillo also went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs as the Cubs opened a three-game series with a 4-2 victory over the slumping Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field.

The loss was the sixth straight for the Brewers (73-64), who slipped into second place in the National League Central after they held or were tied for first since the season's opening week.

The Cubs (62-76) broke a two-game losing streak as left fielder Chris Coghlan and shortstop Starlin Castro also had two hits.

Soler has four doubles and seven extra-base hits in his first five major league games. His second-inning opposite-field double made him only the third major league player since 1900 with extra-base hits in each of his first five games and first National Leaguer since St. Louis' Enos Slaughter in 1938.

He's batting .526 (10-for-19) with four doubles, three home runs and seven RBIs.

"He's a big man and leverages himself in the box and he creates some force," said Cubs manager Rick Renteria. "Pretty impressive."

Cubs starter Jacob Turner (5-8) pitched 6 1/3 innings for the win. Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson (2-6) worked six full innings in the loss. Right-hander Hector Rondon worked the ninth for his 23rd save.

Center fielder Gerardo Parra went 3-for-3 with a home run and an RBI to pace the Brewers, who had just seven hits against four Cubs pitchers.

"We didn't swing the bat that well, obviously, didn't get a lot of hits. Couple guys -- KD (Khris Davis) was really good, Parra was really good -- but we need to get it going," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "That order's got to produce some runs. It's still a nice lineup. We start off well (in the first inning) with two hits and then get a double play."

That first inning proved critical for the Cubs' Turner, who built on that escape.

"Getting through that (first) was what really kind of catapulted me through the rest of the game," said Turner, who allowed just three hits the rest of the way.

Soler got a big hand as stepped in to bat in the second inning and looped a one-out double into the right field.

He scored the Cubs' first run on Castillo's broken-bat single to left. Castillo later made it 3-0 with a two-run homer to left with two outs in the fourth The drive, which brought home Castro, was his career-high 11th of the season.

The Brewers got one back in the seventh when left fielder Khris Davis lined Turner's 89th pitch to left field for his 21st home run of the year.

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Turner departed after that in favor of newly called-up right-hander Blake Parker. He was greeted by a first-pitch solo homer from Parra that cut the Cubs lead to 3-2.

Turner worked 6 1/3 innings and allowed one earned run on five hits. He walked one and struck out seven.

Nelson came out for the seventh but didn't throw a pitch. Roenicke called on left-hander Zach Duke to face two batters, then brought in right-handed reliever Jeremy Jeffress who got second baseman Javier Baez to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Nelson went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits while he struck out four and walked one.

Third baseman Luis Valbuena restored a two-run lead at 4-2 in the eighth with his 16th homer of the season on a 1-1 pitch from Jeffress.

NOTES: The Brewers activated RHP Jimmy Nelson and placed him on the mound for Monday's series opener in one of several transactions to open the month. RHP Matt Garza (left oblique strain) and LHP Wei-Chung Wang (left shoulder tightness) were both reinstated from the 15-day disabled list. ... Milwaukee also called up OF Logan Schafer and C Matt Pagnozzi from Triple-A Nashville while INF Jeff Bianchi (sore right elbow) was moved to the 60-day disabled list. ... The Brewers send RHP Yovani Gallardo (8-7, 3.26 ERA) against Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (7-5, 2.88 ERA) in Tuesday night's second game. ... The Cubs recalled RHP Blake Parker from Triple-A Iowa prior to Monday's game but other September call-ups may wait until after Iowa completed its season on Monday. ... The Cubs honored Chicago's Little League U.S. champions -- Jackie Robinson West -- in pre- and in-game events while Cubs players wore JRW jerseys for pre-game warmups. ... RF Jorge Soler was among 21 players to make a Cubs debut this season. ... The Cubs finished August 16-14, their best August performance since going 16-13 in 2011.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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