They'll look to continue that Wednesday night against left-hander Chris Rusin at Miller Park, a matchup that appears favorable considering their success versus southpaws.
After a 4-3 victory Tuesday following Logan Schafer's game-winning squeeze bunt, Milwaukee (67-83) has won 32 of the last 43 meetings between the teams dating back to July 26, 2011. The Brewers finished a combined 47 games ahead of the Cubs over the last two seasons, but are only 4 1/2 games better this year.
Milwaukee, though, owns a 12-5 edge in 2013, including four straight victories in which the Cubs (63-88) have been held to a combined eight runs and 21 hits.
The Brewers are one of baseball's better teams against left-handed pitching, with their .266 average and .419 slugging percentage both ranking near the top of the majors.
Rusin (2-4, 2.85 ERA) lasted just 3 2-3 innings in an 8-5 win over Milwaukee on Sept. 6, allowing two runs and seven hits, but has been pitched well of late with a 2.45 ERA over his last four outings.
He matched a career high by going seven innings while allowing two runs and four hits in a 3-1 loss at Pittsburgh on Thursday as he continues to audition for a potential spot in the team's 2014 rotation.
"We'll cross those bridges when we get to it," manager Dale Sveum said. "He's definitely put himself in a position to have every opportunity to make the rotation."
Former Cub Aramis Ramirez, who is slugging .549 in 71 at-bats against left-handers this year, is 2 for 3 off Rusin with a homer.
The Brewers will counter Rusin with another impressive rookie in Tyler Thornburg (2-1, 2.18). The right-hander has thrown exactly six innings in each of his five starts this year while going 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA.
He limited a potent St. Louis lineup to two runs and three hits in a 5-3 victory at Busch Stadium on Thursday, his first career win as a starter.
"I thought I threw the ball pretty well," Thornburg said. "I was locating my fastball pretty well. Everything felt good."
Thornburg threw six shutout innings during a 3-2 win at Chicago on July 30, his first start of the year and only appearance against the Cubs.
Darwin Barney will try to break out of a slump as he's just 1 for 17 over his last six games.
Lucroy is 4 for 28 (.143) with eight strikeouts over his last nine contests.
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