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Rough first inning costly for Brewers in 8-5 loss

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CHICAGO (AP)

Kyle Lohse's outing was spoiled by one pitch.

Junior Lake made Lohse pay for a hanging slider and the rookie hit his first career grand slam to lead the Chicago Cubs 8-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday.

''Just spun right there,'' Lohse said of the pitch to Lake. ''The frustrating thing is I was just one pitch away a couple times and I just didn't make the pitch. It happens, but it's frustrating. Unfortunately it cost us the game early.''

The Cubs got off to a quick start against Lohse (9-9).

With one out and runners on first and second, Nate Schierholtz singled to drive in the first run. Lohse followed with a walk to Ryan Sweeney and one batter later, Lake homered on a 1-0 slider.

Lohse gave up 11 hits and seven runs, with three strikeouts and one walk.

''He missed location a lot,'' manager Ron Roenicke said. ''And when he missed location, they didn't miss the pitch. He didn't make too many quality pitches there the first inning.

''After that, he was a little bit better. The last two innings he was pretty good, the last inning was the best.''

It was the second rough outing in three starts for Lohse.

On Aug. 27, he allowed five runs and 13 hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Despite his recent struggles, Lohse has delivered a strong season, giving the Brewers 175 2/3 innings with a 3.59 ERA.

''You're gonna have starts like that,'' Lohse said. ''You look around, guys have those starts. It is frustrating that it's two out of three, but I look at the season as a whole.''

The Brewers' offense had opportunities against Cubs starter Chris Rusin.

After getting the first two outs in the fourth inning, Rusin gave up consecutive hits to Norichika Aoki and Jean Segura, and was pulled from the game.

With right-handed power hitter Jonathan Lucroy due up, Cubs manager Dale Sveum replaced the left-handed Rusin with righty Carlos Villanueva (5-8) and he got the final out in the inning.

Villanueva retired all seven batters he faced, including five strikeouts, to earn the victory.

Rusin lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up two runs and seven hits and two walks.

However, the young lefty did have a two-RBI single in the third to put the Cubs up 7-2.

''He got his pitch count up and I think he would tell you he didn't have his best stuff or command today,'' Sveum said. ''But it was huge coming up with that hit, that's for sure.''

Milwaukee rallied in the eighth when Scooter Gennett had a pinch-hit three-run homer off Pedro Strop to make it 7-5.

It was the second baseman's sixth home run as he tries to put together a strong finish to his rookie season.

''He's doing a great job,'' Roenicke said. ''I'll get him back out there again tomorrow at second. Hopefully we keep their run total down a little bit so we can score some runs.''

Gennett's homer wasn't enough as the Cubs added an insurance run when Donnie Murphy led off with a single and scored on shortstop Segura's throwing error.

Kevin Gregg got the final three outs for his 30th save in 35 chances.

NOTES: Khris Davis was in the Brewers' lineup playing left field and batting sixth, but was scratched because of soreness in his left wrist. He is listed day to day. ... The Cubs activated recently acquired RHP Daniel Bard before the game, but whether he pitches in a game this season remains to be seen. Before he throws in a game, the Cubs at least want to see him throw on the side a couple of times. After battling an abdominal strain this season, Bard said he's healthy and hopes to correct the problems with mechanics he believes robbed him of his high-90s fastball while with the Boston Red Sox. ... The Cubs announced that RHP Scott Baker will start the series finale Sunday. It will be his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. ... The Cubs' Jake Arrieta (2-1) will face Johnny Hellweg (0-3) on Saturday.

Tagged: Brewers, Cubs, Kyle Lohse

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