Brewers find offense to back Greinke
Zack Greinke was fuming at himself after a rough second inning.
He took it out on the Chicago Cubs.
Greinke extended his home winning streak to 15 straight decisions at Miller Park, and the Milwaukee Brewers rediscovered their offense, beating the Chicago Cubs 8-0 on Wednesday night.
Greinke became the third starting pitcher since 1900 to win his first 15 home decisions with a team. He chalked up much of the streak to good luck and run support, but acknowledged that he likes staying in a routine at home — and yes, it's the little things that count.
"You wake up in your bed, and you don't have to go anywhere to get your breakfast and coffee," Greinke said. "And sometimes in the hotels, they have bad coffee or something, so you have to go do other stuff."
Greinke (7-2) had a season-high 12 strikeouts and gave up two hits in seven innings, with two walks and a wild pitch.
"I was mad about it, probably, for a couple innings," Greinke said of the rocky second. "Because I threw so many pitches that inning."
Brooks Conrad — who came into Wednesday's game batting .059 this season — had a two-run single for the Brewers, while Ryan Braun and Cody Ransom each had RBI doubles. Norichika Aoki had a walk and three hits after being moved to the leadoff spot and Taylor Green hit a three-run homer, the first of his career.
The Brewers lost 10-0 in the first game of the series, ending the Cubs' 11-game road losing streak.
"We always talk about the confidence, when you're home and when you're on the road," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Greinke. "He has great confidence here."
Cubs starter Paul Maholm (4-5) gave up four runs and six hits in four innings. Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro each doubled on a quiet offensive night for Chicago.
"If you're going to strike out that many times on back-to-back nights, you're not going to put many runs up, that's for sure," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Greinke was about as good as he's going to get. "
Greinke got off to a somewhat shaky start, including an awkward-looking curveball early on.
Soriano led off the second with a shot down the third-base line, which Conrad unsuccessfully tried to barehand. Soriano went to second on the play, which was ruled a double.
Soriano advanced to third on a groundout, and Greinke got another groundout. But he walked the next two hitters to load the bases, then struck out Maholm to get out of the inning — despite appearing to lose his grip on one offering to Maholm, the pitch registering 53 mph on the stadium speed gun.
Greinke said he thought his catcher called for a fastball, but realized in the middle of his motion that he had called for a curve.
"And I couldn't stop, or else it would be a balk and they'd score a run," Greinke said. "So I was like, 'Oh my gosh.' I just threw it. That was how that inning was going for me."
After being shut out Tuesday and managing only one hit in the first three innings Wednesday, the Brewers finally got back on the scoreboard in the fourth.
Aoki led off with a double, advanced to third on a flyout by Carlos Gomez and scored on a double by Braun. Corey Hart then reached base on an infield hit when third baseman Ian Stewart bobbled a ball coming out of his glove, giving the Brewers runners on first and second with one out.
Rickie Weeks flew out, but Ransom doubled to score Braun — then Conrad delivered a broken-bat single to score two more, giving the Brewers a 4-0 lead.
Milwaukee added another run in the fifth when Aoki doubled and took third on an error by right fielder David DeJesus. Aoki later scored on a sacrifice fly by Hart.
Green tacked on his drive in the eighth. He got the ball back from the fan who caught it — and the fan didn't ask for anything in return.
"He didn't," Green said. "I gave him a bat, though."
NOTES: The Cubs placed RHP Blake Parker on the 60-day disabled list with a right elbow stress reaction and called up RHP Manuel Corpas. … Both teams drafted their respective managers' sons Wednesday. The Brewers took Lance Roenicke, an outfielder from UC Santa Barbara, in the 25th round. The Cubs took Rustin Sveum, an infielder at Desert Mountain High School in Arizona, in the 39th. … Cubs RHP Matt Garza (2-4, 4.10 ERA) faces Brewers LHP Randy Wolf (2-5, 6.05 ERA) on Thursday.