Cubs beat Brewers 15-3 to snap skid
Blake DeWitt added a homer and four RBIs and Starlin Castro had a career-high four hits for Chicago, which avoided matching the longest skid of Lou Piniella's four years as manager.
Outscored 67-20 during the streak — which included Monday's 18-1 loss to Milwaukee — the Cubs responded with their highest-scoring game this season.
Ryan Dempster (9-8) allowed three hits and no earned runs in six innings to improve to 5-0 with a 2.48 ERA in his last six starts against Milwaukee.
Manny Parra (3-9) gave up only two hits through five innings, including Tyler Colvin's solo homer, but couldn't survive the sixth and is 0-4 with an 8.56 ERA since last winning July 3.
Castro opened the sixth with an infield single. After Derrek Lee struck out, Parra walked Marlon Byrd and gave up Soto's RBI single. Parra fanned Alfonso Soriano before giving up consecutive RBI singles to DeWitt and Jeff Baker as the Cubs took a 4-3 lead.
Ramirez then homered on reliever Todd Coffey's third pitch. After hitting three home runs and driving in seven on July 20, Ramirez had batted .186 with no homers and two RBIs.
Carlos Zambrano pitched a scoreless seventh for the Cubs. He was suspended, sent to anger-management counseling and banished to the bullpen after a June 25 dugout tirade, but is expected to return to the rotation Monday at San Francisco.
Piniella said he hopes to get 75 to 80 pitches out of the $91.5 million former All-Star, who is 12-14 with a 4.63 ERA in 55 outings since pitching a no-hitter on Sept. 14, 2008.
Soto hit a three-run homer off LaTroy Hawkins in the seventh to make it 10-3. Hawkins then hit Soriano with a pitch and was ejected. Brewers manager Ken Macha, who had been upset that Cubs reliever Brian Schlitter wasn't thrown out after beaning Carlos Gomez on Monday, argued with umpire Tom Hallion and also was tossed.
The Cubs scored five more in the eighth on Lee's 400th career double, Soto's RBI single and DeWitt's three-run homer.
Baker's error at third base had paved the way for three unearned runs off Dempster in the fifth. Corey Hart had a two-run double in the inning, giving him 75 RBIs.
Notes: The 20-year-old Castro leads all rookies with a .318 average since making his debut May 7. ... Brewers LHP Randy Wolf expects to take the mound as scheduled Saturday against Houston. He was hit on the left wrist by a line drive in his last start, but X-rays and an MRI exam revealed no damage.
Last updated: 2:48 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012