Brewers blow 3-run lead in 8th, lose to Cubs in 10

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Associated Press
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
— As the stranded runners began piling up, something just didn't feel right to Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.

Roenicke's fears came to fruition in the eighth inning Tuesday night as he watched his bullpen squander a three-run lead. The Brewers eventually lost 5-4 to the Chicago Cubs on Starlin Castro's 10th-inning single.

"Early on when you're looking at the game and how it's going and you're not adding on the runs you should be adding on, you never feel good about it," Roenicke said.

The Brewers, who lost the first game of the series 1-0 on Monday, dropped back-to-back games for the first time since a seven-game losing streak from April 30 to May 6.

"Today's was tough," Roenicke said. "Yesterday we didn't swing the bat, but today was a tough loss."

Milwaukee went 2 for 16 with runners in scoring position and stranded 13. The Brewers loaded the bases with none out in the third inning and again with one out, but only pushed across two runs.

"We had a lot of chances to bust that game open all game," Roenicke said. "I know it came down to the bullpen, but that game we should have blown open early."

Castro looped a one-out single to right field in the 10th to score Tony Campana from third base, handing Tim Dillard (1-1) his first loss of the year.

Campana opened the 10th with a double and moved to third on Kosuke Fukudome's sacrifice, bringing up Castro.

The winning run capped a late comeback as Jeff Samardzija (5-2), the last of six Cubs pitchers, won his second straight game in relief.

"It was a great at-bat by (Castro) against a tough right-hander," said Cubs manager Mike Quade, who was ejected in the top of the ninth for arguing balls and strikes. "He's done exactly what I needed him to do this year."

Trailing 4-1, the Cubs scored three times in the eighth off Milwaukee reliever Marco Estrada. Castro doubled home Fukudome, and Aramis Ramirez followed with his fifth homer, a two-run shot that tied it 4-all.

The rally spoiled a strong effort by Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo, who allowed three hits and struck out a season-high 10 in seven innings.

It was a vast improvement from his previous outing, when he gave up 10 hits in four innings.

"I was able to mix my pitches a little better than my last start," Gallardo said. "You've just got to take that as a good thing and keep moving forward."

Gallardo's 4-1 loss to the New York Mets last Thursday snapped a six-game winning streak, but he bounced right back.

"He did a great job locating and changing speeds, making the right pitch when he had to," Roenicke said.

Milwaukee maintained a share of the NL Central lead as St. Louis lost 8-6 at Washington.

The Brewers scored twice in the third inning, sending eight batters to the plate while leaving three on base.

Rickie Weeks led off with a single and scored the first run on Ryan Braun's base hit. The Brewers then loaded the bases and scored again when Casey McGehee grounded to shortstop for a fielder's choice that brought home Nyjer Morgan.

Cubs starter Randy Wells then walked Corey Hart to load the bases again, but escaped the inning when Yuniesky Betancourt popped up in the infield and Jonathan Lucroy flied to left.

Prince Fielder's one-out sacrifice fly in the fourth brought home Gallardo for a 3-0 lead.

Geovany Soto's seventh-inning solo home run broke up the shutout bid.

Quade used five relievers over the final three innings, including rookie Chris Carpenter, who made his major league debut in the eighth.

Weeks, who had three hits, greeted Carpenter with a double to left that scored Lucroy for a 4-1 lead.

Wells worked six innings, giving up eight hits and two earned runs. He struck out two and walked three.

NOTES: The Cubs activated outfielder Reed Johnson from the disabled list before the game and sent OF Tyler Colvin to Triple-A Iowa. Johnson was placed on the disabled list May 29, retroactive to May 26, with lower back spasms. Colvin was batting .105 with two homers and eight RBIs. ... The Brewers are 25-9 at Miller Park, but 13-21 on the road. ... The Cubs are 9-9 in one-run games. ... Braun leads NL All-Star vote getters. He had received 2.23 million votes in figures released this week. He is seeking his fourth consecutive All-Star start.

Last updated: 5:39 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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