Brewers beat Cubs 8-2
Ryan Braun and ex-Cub Kendall - batting ninth - had three hits each in Milwaukee's 14-hit attack.
The Cubs were 8 1/2 games back of the Brewers in late June last season after a slow start before overtaking Milwaukee to win the NL Central. Chicago lost Monday's opener 4-3 in 10 innings.
Suppan (1-0) gave up Derrek Lee's home run leading off the fourth on a 41-degree day and left after allowing Geovany Soto's home in the seventh.
Salomon Torres relieved Suppan and, after consecutive one-out singles by Felix Pie and Mike Fontenot, retired Ryan Theriot on a flyout and struck out Alfonso Soriano - off to an 0-for-9 start.
Chicago starter Ted Lilly (0-1) gave up four runs and five hits in 4 2-3 innings.
Milwaukee took a 3-0 lead in the fourth when Braun doubled off Aramis Ramirez's glove at third, Bill Hall had an RBI single and Corey Hart delivered an RBI double.
Lee's first homer got a run back for the Cubs in the bottom half but Milwaukee drove out Lilly in the fifth when Kendall doubled, and Lilly hit Prince Fielder in the side with a two-out pitch. Braun greeted Kevin Hart with an RBI single for a 4-1 lead.
Fans at Wrigley Field started to boo the Cubs in the sixth when Milwaukee scored without a hit thanks to two walks, three stolen bases and a Soto's error.
Notes: Part of Carlos Zambrano's problems with cramping is related to a low potassium level, manager Lou Piniella said. Zambrano had to leave in the seventh Monday with a cramp in his right forearm. He's had similar problems with cramps in past seasons. Zambrano said he would have to drink more water. Piniella said his ace will have to eat more bananas. And the Cubs would also like Zambrano to cut back on his caffeine intake. ... Weeks' leadoff homer was the seventh of his career. ... Longtime Cubs' clubhouse manager Yosh Kawano, who joined the team in 1943, two years before its last World Series appearance, is leaving the job. He will stay with team in another capacity and be honored at a ceremony later this season. Kawano turns 87 in June.
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Last updated: 9:02 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012