Cubs 14, Brewers 6
CHICAGO (AP)—Dusty Baker figures he’ll hang around Chicago after the season ends for four or five days until he finishes packing and tying up loose ends.
Whether he’ll return is another matter.
When the Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 14-6 on Tuesday night, Baker began what could be the final homestand of his four-year stay as manager.
Baker said he hasn’t set up a postseason meeting yet with general manager Jim Hendry. After he and Hendry have that get-together, Baker might know just how much to take back to California with him.
“I’m hoping sooner than later,” Baker said of the meeting. “Make up mind whether to leave some stuff or take everything.”
For now, the Cubs have four more games to play.
“We don’t give up,” he said of the team with the NL’s worst record (64-94). “You got to manage and play up to the last out of the last game.”
“Everybody knows we’ve been through a difficult time. It’s been a long season,” Blanco said. “We’ve got to try to be better next year.”
Jones had three RBIs and Mabry hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run sixth inning off reliever Geremi Gonzalez. Chicago scored 12 of its 14 runs with two outs.
“Our whole issue was getting guys with two outs,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said.
After one more game at Wrigley Field, the Brewers, who haven’t had a winning season since 1992, could have a say in who wins the NL Central. They play three games against the struggling Cardinals in St. Louis to close the season. St. Louis has lost seven straight and its lead over Houston in the division has been chopped to 1 1/2 games.
“It would definitely be fun if we could keep the Cardinals from the playoffs,” said Milwaukee’s Bill Hall, who homered Tuesday night.
Marshall (6-9), in his fifth start since coming off the disabled list with a right strained oblique muscle, allowed six hits and three runs in six innings.
Carlos Villaneuva (1-2), who had given up one run and five hits in his previous two appearances spanning 13 innings, got in trouble in the first when Juan Pierre singled, Jones doubled after a fielder’s choice and Matt Murton walked to load the bases. One out later, Blanco hit a two-run single.
Milwaukee got one back when Hall led off the second with his 33rd homer but Jones hit his 27th after a leadoff double by Ryan Theriot to make it 4-1 in the third.
But Blanco delivered another two-out single in the fifth, scoring Murton after his second double of the game to make it 5-3.
The Brewers got consecutive singles from Hall and Corey Hart to start the sixth but Marshall got out of the inning, thanks to a nifty diving stop by third baseman Scott Moore on Rivera’s two-out grounder behind the bag.
Jones and Murton, who had both three hits, delivered two-out RBI-singles in the sixth to put the Cubs up 7-3 and then Mabry hit a towering homer to right, his fifth of the season.
Tony Graffanino had an RBI-single for the Brewers in the seventh.
The Cubs added four in the eighth. Blanco doubled in a run, Moore had an RBI-single and pinch-hitter Jose Reyes delivered a two-run single, his first major league hit.
Villanueva went five innings, giving up eight hits and five runs.
Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez, who has career highs with 37 homers and 114 RBIs, was scratched from the lineup with a sore quadriceps. … The Brewers, who were 81-81 last season, haven’t had a winning season since 1992. … Pierre had two hits and is two shy of his fourth season with 200. … The five-game winning streak had matched the Brewers’ season high. They opened the season 5-0. … Bell was ejected when he said something to home plate umpire Tim Tschida after being called out on strikes in the eighth. … The four hits and four RBIs tied Blanco’s career highs. … Murton reached base five times. He was 3-for-3 and hit by two pitches.