Cubs 15, Brewers 3

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hero: Geovany Soto went 3-for-5, scored three times, and knocked in five. Soto hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning off former Cubs right-hander LaTroy Hawkins.

Goat: Ryan Dempster (9-8) allowed just three hits and struck out five over six innings, but his two-out walk - one of three bases on balls that he issued - on four pitches of his Milwaukee counterpart, Manny Parra, paved the way for three Brewers unearned runs.

Key Plays: The Cubs capped a six-run sixth inning with five two-out runs. Blake DeWitt's single (on an ill-advised 0-and-2 curveball from Parra) tied the game at 3, Jeff Baker's single produced the go-ahead run, and Aramis Ramirez's home run off reliever Todd Coffey knocked in three more. It was Ramirez's first homer since he hit three gainst Houston on July 20.

Comments: Wednesday's victory snapped a seven-game losing streak, but the three unearned runs they allowed in the fifth increased their total to a whopping 71 on the season.

"That's too many," said Pat Hughes, stating the obvious.

The Cubs were clinging to a 1-0 lead when Dempster walked Parra to put runners at first and third with one out. Rickie Weeks tapped a grounder to third baseman Baker, who fielded and fired to second for what should have been an inning-ending forceout. But his throw pulled second baseman DeWitt off the bag enabling Parra to slide in safely and Jim Edmonds to score the tying run from third.

"Gosh!" Ron Santo said. "This is unbelievable what's happening to this team!"

It got worse when Corey Hart followed with a two-run double.

Hawkins and Milwaukee manager Ken Macha were ejected in the seventh after Hawkins plunked Alfonso Soriano who was batting after Soto's home run.

Starlin Castro went 4-for-5 with a triple and double, and scored a pair of runs. Castro is now hitting a team-best .318. ... Tyler Colvin hit his 17th homer of the season and DeWitt smacked his first as a Cub. ... Carlos Zambrano, who will return to the starting rotation Monday at San Francisco, worked a scoreless seventh and struck out two. Zambrano allowed a hit and a walk, but his fastball was clocking in the low 90s - a very good sign. ... Sean Marshall rebounded from two poor outings in Colorado with a scoreless eighth that included a pair of strikeouts.

Next: After an off day Thursday, the Cubs (47-61) open a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds (61-48) on Friday (CSN, 1:20 p.m.) at Wrigley Field. The North Siders have dropped seven of 10 to the Reds and have been outscored 67-36.

Tom Gorzelanny (6-5, 3.48 ERA) will oppose Cincinnati veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo (11-6, 4.01).

Arroyo has gone five or more innings in each of his last six starts and has not allowed more than three runs in any of them. He is 8-6 with a 2.91 ERA in 20 career appearances against the Cubs - including 18 starts. He's 5-3 with a 3.47 ERA in 10 Wrigley Field outings - including nine starts.


Solid play all around the board today. It will take that and then some to beat the Reds this weekend though.

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