In Milwaukee’s series opener against the Chicago Cubs, Brewers
starter Mark Rogers earned his first career win.
Marco Estrada has won before, but it’s been a while.
Estrada tries to pick up his first victory in almost exactly one
year when he takes the ball Tuesday night against the Cubs at
Jonathan Lucroy hit two home runs and drove in four while Carlos
Gomez also went deep for Milwaukee (55-66) in Monday’s 9-5 victory
over the Cubs. The game took a turn in the fifth inning when the
Brewers scored eight runs – one fewer than they’d plated in their
previous three games combined.
Milwaukee, which has already matched last season’s loss total,
won for the fourth time in 11 games as the big inning made a winner
out of Rogers, who was making his seventh career start.
Estrada (0-5, 4.52 ERA) has made 15 starts and 14 relief
appearances since his last win, Aug. 23 in Pittsburgh. His 15
consecutive starts without a victory is the longest drought by a
Brewer since Chris Capuano went a franchise-record 18 in a row in
Estrada wasn’t particularly sharp in Milwaukee’s 7-4 comeback
win over Philadelphia on Thursday, needing 108 pitches to get
through five innings. He gave up four runs, eight hits and three
walks while striking out one.
In his lone start of the season against Chicago on May 13, the
right-hander gave up two runs and five hits in six innings and
didn’t factor in the decision of an 8-2 loss.
The Cubs (47-74) were six games under .500 then, but have since
fallen a season-worst 27 games below the break-even mark – their
lowest point since finishing the 2006 season 66-96. Monday’s defeat
was their 16th in 20 games.
One highlight for Chicago in the series opener was Josh Vitters
hitting his first career homer in his 11th game. The third overall
selection of the 2007 draft came in batting .091 with 11 strikeouts
in 33 at-bats.
The Cubs, who have already called up several young players as
they continue to build for the future, will have their sixth player
make his major league debut Tuesday when they summon Chris Rusin to
A fourth-round draft pick in 2009, Rusin went 8-8 with a 4.59
ERA in 24 starts with Triple-A Iowa this season, including a 1-0
mark and 1.93 ERA in three outings this month.
The left-hander will be the 11th starting pitcher used by the
Cubs, their most since using a franchise record-tying 15 in 2006.
His status in the rotation beyond Tuesday is unclear.
“If he’s going to get a longer look, he’s going to have to
replace somebody, or go with six guys in September or something
like that,” manager Dale Sveum told the Cubs’ official website. “We
have to decide what we’re going to do.”
If Rusin can keep Ryan Braun in check he could get some
consideration to make more starts.
The reigning NL MVP is 9 for 20 with four homers and six RBIs in
his last five games, and is batting .538 (14 for 26) with five home
runs against lefties since July 24.
Lucroy has frustrated the Cubs all season, batting .450 with 10
RBIs in his last six contests in the series. He’s 5 for 10 in his
last three games overall.
“I’m just trying to be consistent and have good at-bats and hit
the ball hard somewhere,” he said.