The Brewers look for their fifth straight win at Wrigley and to extend the Cubs’ longest home losing streak in 12 years when they continue their four-game series on Wednesday.
Milwaukee (39-39) is the fifth-worst road team in the majors at 14-22, but has won four of five at Chicago (28-28) this season. Milwaukee went just 2-4 on Chicago’s North Side last season, and have never won five straight there in a single season.
The Cubs, meanwhile, have the worst home record in baseball at 12-22—and are just 4-17 at Wrigley since May 2. Chicago’s nine-game home slide is its worst since losing the first 12 games of the 1994 season.
The Cubs were in position to end the losing streak Tuesday, but the Brewers scored four unearned runs in the top of the ninth inning to win 8-5. Ryan Dempster came in with a chance for the save, but his throwing error on Gabe Gross’ bunt opened the doors for Milwaukee.
“This is rock bottom,” said Dempster, who ended up with the loss. “I guess we hit it. It seems like we’ve been saying that forever.”
Dempster has converted just four of his last eight save opportunities, and has not recorded one since June 10.
Brewers left fielder Carlos Lee hit his 25th homer, and has four in five games at Wrigley this year.
Coming off his first road win of the season, Dave Bush (4-5, 4.64 ERA) will take the mound for Milwaukee. Bush was 0-4 with a 7.14 ERA in his first seven road starts of the season.
The right-hander allowed two runs and nine hits while striking out eight in 7 1-3 innings in a 7-2 win Friday at Kansas City.
“There have been games on the road where I pitched well and didn’t get the win,” Bush said. “I don’t put a whole lot of stock in that, necessarily. If I was doing something poorly on the road I might focus a little on it.”
Bush took the loss in the Brewers’ only defeat at Wrigley this season. He allowed five runs and a season-high 10 hits in six innings on April 28 in a 6-2 defeat.
Rookie Carlos Marmol (1-2, 4.98) will make his fourth start of the season for Chicago. He allowed seven runs and walked four in 5 2-3 innings in a 7-2 loss to Minnesota on Friday.
“Walks always hurt,” Chicago manager Dusty Baker said. “Sometimes he’s throwing real well and sometimes he gets out of place. All those rallies were preceded somewhere by a walk.”
The right-hander has allowed 11 runs and 13 hits in 11 2-3 innings in his last two starts, both losses.
A win would move Milwaukee a game over .500 for the first time since being 26-25 on May 29, while a loss for Chicago would drop it 21 games under .500 for the first time since finishing the 2002 season 67-95.
The Cubs have lost five straight, and 12 of 14 overall.
Derrek Lee went hitless in five at-bats Tuesday, and is 3-for-13 with no extra-base hits in three games since returning to the lineup after missing 59 with a broken right wrist.