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Brewers 5, Cubs 4

The SportsXchange

MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun hit his second home run in as many games and Marco Estrada turned in his third consecutive quality start as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cubs 5-4 on Friday night at Miller Park.

Braun came into the game with just two hits -- both home runs -- in his last 22 at-bats and on his first trip to the plate blasted an 0-and-2 slider from Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija to left field, giving Milwaukee the early lead.

Aside from a four-run first inning, Samardzija pitched well for Chicago. He worked seven innings, allowing six hits and a walk while striking out four. Of his five runs allowed, four were earned.

After the first, he faced just two batters over the minimum and retired 14 of 15 before Gomez homered to lead off the seventh, giving Milwaukee a 5-3 lead.

The Cubs came back in the eighth on Anthony Rizzo's leadoff homer off Tom Gorzelanny, closing to 5-4.

Milwaukee threatened again in the bottom of the inning, but the rally ended with two base-running gaffes.

Segura led off with a single to short and Braun drew a walk off reliever Kevin Gregg. With Rickie Weeks up, Segura got caught in a rundown between second and third and slid back to second, where Braun was already standing.

Segura thought he had been called out, and while walking back to the dugout, realized that second-base umpire Phil Cuzzi called Braun out and quickly jumped on first base. After Weeks struck out, Segura was again caught trying to steal, ending the inning.

Jim Henderson worked around a two-out single in the ninth for his third save.

Milwaukee jumped on Smardzija early. Norichika Aoki reached on an error in the first and moved to third on Segura's single. Braun made it 3-0 with his fourth homer of the season. After Weeks doubled, Jonathan Lucroy triped to give Milwaukee a 4-0 lead.

But after a quick third, Estrada got into trouble in the fourth. Luis Valbuena led off with a homer and Estrada walked Smardzija with one out. David DeJesus followed with his second homer of the season, cutting the Brewers' lead to 4-3.

Chicago loaded the bases against Estrada in the fourth, but Smardzija struck out to end the threat.

NOTES: Starlin Castro singled in the third inning, extending his hitting streak to 11 games ... Braun's homered in the bottom of the first, his second home run in as many games. With 206 for his career, he's two from trying Gorman Thomas for fourth on the Brewers' all-time list ... The Cubs came into the game hitting .154 with runners in scoring position, the lowest average in baseball. ... Milwaukee' bullpen was 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA and six saves in the last six games ... Earlier Friday, the Cubs claimed outfielder Julio Borbon off waivers from Texas and designated infielder Alberto Gonzalez for assignment.
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