Brewers-Cubs Preview

The Associated Press

A visit to Chicago might be what the Milwaukee Brewers need to get back on track after a rough opening week.

Looking to win consecutive games for the first time in 2013, the visiting Brewers try to continue their recent success over the rival Cubs by handing them a fifth straight defeat Tuesday night.

Norichika Aoki and Ryan Braun each had three hits and Martin Maldonado three RBIs as Milwaukee (2-5) snapped a five-game slide with a 7-4 win at Chicago on Monday. The Brewers scored four times in the first inning then held on during a windy day at Wrigley Field.

"It's just nice to win,'' Braun said. "We needed to win.''

Milwaukee has outscored Chicago (2-5) 69-34 while winning nine of 10 in the series between these border rivals. The Brewers also have won 21 of the last 27, including seven of nine at Wrigley.

Braun had two doubles Monday after missing the previous three games due to spasms on the right side of his neck.

"He swung the bat great, but just having him in the lineup makes a difference,'' manager Ron Roenicke said.

The slugger is 7 for 14 with five RBIs in the four games he has played in 2013, and is batting .615 (16 for 26) with seven doubles and 10 RBIs in his last six versus Chicago.

Aoki is batting .419 (13 for 31) this season and .500 (20 for 40) in his last 10 games against the Cubs.

After Marco Estrada yielded two runs in seven innings Monday to bounce back from a subpar 2013 debut, scheduled Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta hopes for a better performance than his first outing of 2013.

Big things are expected of Peralta after he went 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in five September starts last season, but the right-hander allowed four runs, six hits and walked three in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-3 loss to Colorado on Wednesday.

"He's got great stuff, but he's got to learn to get it over the plate,'' Roenicke said. "At times, his sinker was great - 95 (mph), 96, down in the zone, but consistently, he couldn't repeat pitches. His slider was basically not there.''

Peralta makes his first appearance against the Cubs, who hope Travis Wood can put forth another strong performance after he allowed one hit and two walks in six scoreless innings of Chicago's last win, 3-2 at Pittsburgh on Thursday.

The left-hander went 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA versus Milwaukee last season.

Catcher Welington Castillo hit a two-run homer Monday and was one of four players with two hits for the Cubs, who went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Chicago left the bases loaded in the ninth after Starlin Castro flew out to the warning track with the wind blowing in for the final out.

The Cubs have totaled 17 runs and are 6 for 44 (.136) with runners in scoring position through seven games.

"Nobody's pressing right now," manager Dale Sveum, told the Cubs' official website. "It's just a matter of getting everybody together."

Castro, who had two hits in the series opener, is 5 for 14 (.357) in three games after going 3 for 16 in the first four. He's batting .395 in 19 career games against the Brewers at Wrigley.

After going 0 for 4 in the home opener, Chicago's Anthony Rizzo is 4 for 25 (.160) this season.

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