Cubs-Brewers Preview

The Associated Press

While they've dominated the Chicago Cubs in recent matchups, the Milwaukee Brewers have never recorded a four-game sweep in 17 years as NL rivals.

Kyle Lohse will try to help his club accomplish that unprecedented feat with a better performance against Chicago on Thursday at Miller Park.

Milwaukee (68-83) eased to its 33rd win in the last 44 matchups with the Cubs on Wednesday and 22nd in 26 home meetings. Sean Halton's first career grand slam in the first inning was more than enough for the Brewers in a 7-0 rout.

"In a couple months I will sit back and look (and say) that was a crazy week,'' said Halton, who also hit a three-run walkoff homer Sunday to give the Brewers a 6-5 victory over Cincinnati. "It is unbelievable to get an opportunity to be in those situations let alone come through in them."

Lohse (10-9, 3.46 ERA) will try to lead Milwaukee to another win over its NL Central rivals and its fifth in a row overall. The Brewers haven't won five straight since a season-high, nine-game win streak April 14-23.

The right-hander pitched a four-hitter Friday in a 5-1 victory over Cincinnati after a miserable outing against the Cubs on Sept. 6. Lohse was tagged for a season-high seven runs and 11 hits over five innings in an 8-5 defeat.

Junior Lake struck the big blow in the first inning with his first career grand slam.

"You're gonna have starts like that," said Lohse, who was 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA in his previous four matchups. "Guys have those starts ... but I look at the season as a whole."

Jake Arrieta (2-2, 4.42) will try to help the scuffling Cubs (63-89) avoid the sweep and a season high-tying sixth consecutive loss while avoiding his second defeat to Milwaukee in less than two weeks.

The right-hander gave up four runs over five innings in a 5-3 defeat Sept. 7. He had a better performance in his Cubs debut July 30 against the Brewers, giving up one run and two hits over six innings.

Chicago closer Kevin Gregg, however, blew the save in that 3-2 defeat.

Arrieta has allowed four runs in each of his last two games and lasted five-plus innings Friday before the Cubs rallied a 5-4 comeback win in Pittsburgh on Friday.

Manager Dale Sveum could use a strong performance from Arrieta and the rest of the Cubs to increase his chances of keeping his job after this season. Team president Theo Epstein wouldn't say whether Sveum would return next year on Tuesday.

"Some things haven't gone too well, and some things have gone really well," Sveum told the team's website Wednesday. "That's up to (the front office), and they're the bosses. They make those decisions and they have all kinds of things to evaluate."

The Brewers, meanwhile, are hoping to get shortstop Jean Segura back after he had to leave Wednesday's game with a strained right hamstring.

"It's not bad, but saying that, we'll see how many days it's going to be," manager Ron Roenicke told the team's website. "If he walks in here (Thursday) and he hardly feels anything, then we have a chance to get him back out there."

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