Cubs 5, Brewers 1
Marquis allowed four hits in seven innings to win for the first time in almost two months, and Chicago beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-1.
The win was the eighth in nine games for the Cubs, who took two of three from the NL Central leaders and trail them by 6 1/2 games.
“I think we’re playing real good, solid baseball,” said Marquis, who got hit by the barrel of a broken bat in the first inning. “We’re minimizing mistakes. Obviously, we expect to win.”
Chicago jumped ahead early after its season-high seven-game winning streak ended with a 13-4 defeat the previous day. Aramis Ramirez doubled in two runs in the first inning, and Derrek Lee and Mark DeRosa added RBI singles in the third as the Cubs took a 4-0 lead.
That was enough for Marquis (6-4), who won for the first time since beating Pittsburgh 1-0 on May 9. He allowed one run, struck out five and walked one after going 0-3 in his previous nine starts.
His lone mistake was Corey Hart’s leadoff homer in the sixth, although there was one scary moment. That came with two outs in the first inning, when Ryan Braun sent a broken-bat grounder toward the mound. The barrel hit Marquis “pretty flush” in the face and forearm as he fielded the ball.
“I saw both pretty vividly, but I was really trying to concentrate on making the play,” Marquis said, adding that he’s fine.
Milwaukee’s Dave Bush (6-7) lasted six innings, allowing four runs and six hits. He struck out five and walked two after winning his previous two starts and picking up a win in relief last week.
Ryan Theriot had three doubles and scored three runs, and Lee added three hits for a team that is struggling to gain ground on Milwaukee. Despite going 17-11 in June, the Cubs lost a game in the standings.
“We don’t have any room to slack off,” Lee said. “They’re not going to slack off.”
Theriot doubled down the right-field line with one out in the first and moved to third on Lee’s single to shallow center. Ramirez drove them in with a double to right-center.
Theriot led off the third with another double—this one to the left-field corner—and scored on Lee’s single to left, making it 3-0. The throw from Geoff Jenkins appeared to beat Theriot, and Brewers catcher Johnny Estrada argued briefly to no avail.
“It looked like it was pretty no-brainer,” Jenkins said. “But they make mistakes, too.”
Things took another turn for the worse for Milwaukee when Ramirez sent a pop fly into the swirling wind. Braun, the third baseman, ran in and dropped the ball for an error, putting runners on first and third. Lee scored on DeRosa’s single, making it 4-0. Koyie Hill just missed a three-run homer when he flied to the right-field warning track with two outs.
Marquis threw just 77 pitches and started by retiring nine of his first 10 batters. He did not allow a hit until J.J. Hardy and Braun started the fourth with singles. Prince Fielder then sent a fly to the warning track in center, but otherwise Marquis showed the form he had when he started 5-1.
And the Cubs bear little resemblance to the team that struggled through the first two months after a $300 million offseason overhaul.
“They’re just playing a little better,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “They were really, really good back then, too. They just weren’t playing that well. Right now they’re playing pretty good. Derrek Lee and Ramirez are two of the best hitters in the National League. Their pitching has a chance to be very solid. They’re a good team.”
Attendance for the series was 124,810—eclipsing by one the record for a three-game set at Wrigley Field. … Hart’s homer extended his hitting career-high hitting streak to 17 games. … The Brewers activated LHP Chris Capuano (strained left groin) from the 15-day DL and traded right-handed reliever Jose Capellan to Detroit for minor league pitcher Chris Cody. Capuano is 5-5 with a 4.35 ERA in 13 starts. Capellan was 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in seven relief appearances for the Brewers. … Chicago’s Mike Fontenot went 0-for-4, snapping his 12-game hitting streak. … The Cubs placed RHP Rocky Cherry on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his back, one day after recalling him from Triple-A Iowa. Chicago recalled RHP Billy Petrick.