Wolf impressive, but Brewers offense doesn't help
Wolf pitched seven shutout innings, but Darwin Barney scored the game's only run in the eighth as the Chicago Cubs won 1-0 on Monday night.
"Wolfy pitched great," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "That was one of his better outings."
Wolf, making his 14th start of the season, allowed six hits, struck out seven and didn't walk a batter as he had his fourth straight no decision.
"I don't know if it's the best I've thrown, but I felt pretty good out there," Wolf said. "I've been feeling strong my past few starts."
The victory ended the Brewers' three-game winning streak as the teams opened a four-game series at Wrigley Field. The Cubs had lost three straight coming in.
Chicago scored when Barney eluded a tag by backup catcher Jonathan Lucroy. With Barney at third with one out, Aramis Ramirez grounded to Brewers shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, who promptly fired to Lucroy in an unsuccessful bid to tag Barney.
"We needed an unbelievable slide from him," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "He got a great jump, great slide."
Even Lucroy was impressed.
"He made a good slide," he said. "A little hook slide around me. He just got his hand in there."
Cubs reliever Jeff Samardzija (4-2) worked one inning for the win, while Carlos Marmol picked up a save in the opener of a four-game series. Brewers reliever Kameron Loe (2-6) also pitched one inning and took the loss.
Cubs starter Ryan Dempster had a no-decision in his 500th career game. He worked seven scoreless innings, gave up four hits while striking out seven and walking just one.
Milwaukee had an early chance to score in the fourth inning. With Casey McGehee on first, Corey Hart send a drive to deep center in the fourth that on another day would have been a two-run homer. But increasingly stiff breezes from the North and Northeast helped keep the ball in the park.
In the bottom of inning, the Cubs started to tag Wolf as Ramirez and Lou Montanez both sent deep flies to left that were caught.
Leading off the fifth, Betancourt took a 1-2 pitch from Dempster and doubled off the left-field wall. He advanced to third on catcher Wil Nieves' bunt but was caught in a rundown between third and home after an unsuccessful bunt attempt by Wolf.
Wolf then doubled down the right-field line on the next pitch, but was stranded when Rickie Weeks ended the inning with a grounder to first.
Dempster was pulled for a pinch hitter in the seventh and the Cubs had runners on first and second with one out, but left both stranded.
The 34-year-old Dempster remained unbeaten in his last nine starts against Milwaukee. He's 7-0 dating to July 2009.
Notes: The Cubs placed right-handed reliever Kerry Wood on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 9. Wood, 1-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 24 relief appearances, has had a lingering blister on his right index finger. He last pitched on June 8 in Cincinnati. The Cubs also activated infielder Jeff Baker from the 15-day disabled list. ... Milwaukee sent RHP Takashi Saito to Class A Wisconsin for a rehabilitation assignment Sunday. ... Third-base umpire Ed Rapuano left early with what was described as a non-medical emergency.
Last updated: 5:40 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012