Baker, Soto homer, Cubs beat Brewers 7-4
Baker and Geovany Soto went deep in a five-run fourth inning for the Cubs, and Carlos Zambrano (1-0) continued his recent string of winning performances against the Brewers at Miller Park. He went six innings, giving up four runs, seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts.
Carlos Marmol put the first two batters he faced on base in the ninth, but rallied to retire the side for his third save of the season.
Prince Fielder hit his first homer of the season for the Brewers, who squandered a chance to climb back to .500 after an ugly 0-4 start.
It was another successful outing against the Brewers for Zambrano, who came into Friday's game 5-0 with a 2.53 ERA on the road against Milwaukee dating to April 2007.
Zambrano also threw a no-hitter at Miller Park in September 2008 — not against the Brewers, but the Astros, in a game that was moved out of Houston because of Hurricane Ike. His opponent was Randy Wolf, now pitching for Milwaukee and starting for the Brewers on Friday.
Wolf (0-2) went six innings, giving up nine hits, six runs — two of which were earned — with a walk and five strikeouts. Wolf gave up another pair of home runs after getting tagged for two in his first start of the season, a loss at Cincinnati.
Fielder's solo shot off Zambrano in the second inning was his 100th home run at Miller Park. Milwaukee added a run later in the second when Casey McGehee scored on a groundout by George Kottaras.
Aramis Ramirez reached base to lead off the fourth when a pop fly dropped between Rickie Weeks, Fielder and Nyjer Morgan, with Weeks getting charged with an error. Soto made the Brewers pay for the mistake, pounding a pitch from Wolf deep to center field for a two-run homer and tying the game at 2.
Later in the inning, singles by Alfonso Soriano and Zambrano gave the Cubs runners on first and second with two outs — and Baker homered to left, giving the Cubs a 5-2 lead.
Milwaukee got a run back in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Kottaras, and McGehee delivered an RBI single in the fifth, cutting Chicago's lead to 5-4. But Baker's RBI single in the sixth put the Cubs' lead back to 2, and Marlon Byrd doubled to score Baker in the ninth.
Notes: The Cubs recalled RHP Jeff Stevens from Triple-A Iowa after placing starting pitchers Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner on the 15-day DL because of arm injuries. RHP Casey Coleman will pitch Sunday, and LHP James Russell will start Tuesday at Houston. ... Zambrano picked Carlos Gomez off first base in the third inning. ... Weeks had a pair of errors for the Brewers, who came into Friday's game with two total errors in their first seven games.
Last updated: 5:01 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012