Brewers beat Cubs in Ramirez's return to ChicagoApr 10, 2012 - 4:54 AM
Ramirez, who played nine seasons in Chicago, hurt the Cubs early, but almost handed his former club the game late, as his error in the ninth kept the Chicago rally going and allowed the Cubs to score two runs in the frame before closer John Axford shut the door with two big strikeouts to complete the save and leave the bases full of Cubs.
Shaun Marcum (1-0) made the start for the Brewers, allowing three runs on five hits while fanning five over six innings of work. Rickie Weeks belted a solo home run, while Mat Gamel finished with two hits, two runs scored and an RBI as Milwaukee improved to 2-2 after dropping 2-of-3 to the Cardinals to open the season.
"To sit back and bash the ball and try to win games," remarked Brewers head coach Ron Roenicke, "I don't know if we can consistently do that. I think our pitching is going to be great all year and I think our bullpen is going to be great all year."
Milwaukee took the lead for good in the sixth as Shawn Camp (0-1) started the frame in place of starter Chris Volstad. Camp was greeted by Corey Hart, who ripped a single into center field. Gamel followed with a triple, plating Hart, and scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly from Jonathan Lucroy to make it 5-3 Brewers.
Camp allowed three runs on five hits over two innings of work to take the loss and Volstad, who started his first game as a Cub after spending the last four seasons with the Marlins, yielded three runs on five hits over his five innings on the mound. Darwin Barney and Bryan LaHair each added solo shots for the Cubs, who began the season by losing 2-of-3 to the Nationals.
Milwaukee gained ground in the seventh, as Ramirez knocked in Ryan Braun with an RBI double into the gap in left-center field to press the margin to 6-3.
Gamel led off the top of the eighth with a single, stole second, and advanced to third on a fly out from Alex Gonzalez. Carlos Gomez, who entered during a double-switch in the bottom of the seventh, laid a sacrifice bunt down the first-base line to score Gamel and press the margin to 7-3.
In the ninth, Manny Parra issued a lead-off double to Ian Stewart before Tim Dillard entered and walked the only batter he faced to put runners on first and third with one out before Axford entered. Despite errors from Ramirez and Gomez, Axford was able to end the comeback bid by punching out David DeJesus and Starlin Castro around a walk to Barney that loaded the bases.
"We felt like we were in the game the whole day. Unfortunately, they got a few more clutch hits than we did," said Barney.
The Brewers struck first in the top of the first frame, as Morgan singled and Braun doubled to put runners on second and third before Ramirez lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to score Morgan and give Milwaukee the 1-0 edge.
The Cubs jumped in front with the long ball as Barney's homer tied the game at 1-1 in the first and LaHair's blast in the second put the Cubs on top 2-1.
Weeks answered with a solo shot in the third to knot the game at 2-2 before Milwaukee added another run in the fourth. Gonzalez led off with a double before advancing to third on a groundout. Marcum then helped his own cause, executing a perfect suicide squeeze to score Gonzalez and restore a one-run edge for the visitors.
The Cubs got one back in the fifth after Soto hit a rare triple on a fly ball that Morgan lost in the twilight. Blake DeWitt then plated Soto on a sacrifice fly to right-center field, tying the game at 3-3.
Dale Sveum is in his first year as Chicago's manager, after spending six years in Milwaukee as a player and six more as a coach...Ramirez hit 239 home runs during his nine seasons in Chicago...Milwaukee went 10-6 against the Cubs last season.
- MILWAUKEE: 7
Apr 9 10:32 PM
- Pinch-Hitter Steve Clevenger singled to center scored Geovany Soto. Steve Clevenger advances to second on Carlos Gomez's fielding error. On the play, Marlon Byrd advances to third. Runners on second and third with one out and David DeJesus due up.
Brewers 7, Cubs 5 Bot 9, 1 OutApr 9 10:25 PM
- Steve Clevenger is pinch-hitting for James Russell.
Brewers 7, Cubs 4 Bot 9, 1 OutApr 9 10:22 PM
- Carlos Gomez sacrifice bunt to pitcher scored Mat Gamel. On the play, Jonathan Lucroy advances to second. Runner on second with two outs and Rickie Weeks due up.
Brewers 7, Cubs 3 Top 8, 2 OutsApr 9 9:41 PM
- Aramis Ramirez doubled to center scored Ryan Braun. Runner on second with two outs and Corey Hart due up.
Brewers 6, Cubs 3 Top 7, 2 OutsApr 9 9:25 PM
- Jonathan Lucroy sacrifice fly out to right scored Mat Gamel. None on with two outs and Shaun Marcum due up.
Brewers 5, Cubs 3 Top 6, 2 OutsApr 9 8:54 PM
- Mat Gamel tripled to right scored Corey Hart. Runner on third with none out and Alex Gonzalez due up.
Brewers 4, Cubs 3 Top 6, 0 OutsApr 9 8:49 PM
- Pinch-Hitter Blake DeWitt sacrifice fly out to center scored Geovany Soto. None on with two outs and David DeJesus due up.
Brewers 3, Cubs 3 Bot 5, 2 OutsApr 9 8:39 PM
- Shaun Marcum sacrifice bunt to pitcher scored Alex Gonzalez. None on with two outs and Rickie Weeks due up.
Brewers 3, Cubs 2 Top 4, 2 OutsApr 9 8:18 PM
- Rickie Weeks lead-off Home Run (2) to left. Nyjer Morgan due up.
Brewers 2, Cubs 2 Top 3, 0 OutsApr 9 7:54 PM
- Bryan LaHair one-out, solo Home Run (1) to right. Geovany Soto due up.
Brewers 1, Cubs 2 Bot 2, 1 OutApr 9 7:46 PM
- Darwin Barney one-out, solo Home Run (1) to left. Starlin Castro due up.
Brewers 1, Cubs 1 Bot 1, 1 OutApr 9 7:27 PM
- Aramis Ramirez sacrifice fly out to right scored Nyjer Morgan. Runner on second with two outs and Corey Hart due up.
Brewers 1, Cubs 0 Top 1, 2 OutsApr 9 7:19 PM
- MILWAUKEE: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Apr 9 7:09 PM
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