Milwaukee Brewers (66-55) at Chicago Cubs (52-67), 2:20 p.m. (ET)
08/13/2014 11:04 AM
08/14/2014 10:37 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Milwaukee Brewers go for a split of their four-game series against the Chicago Cubs Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
The Brewers have lost two in a row to the Cubs after taking Monday's series opener and fell for third time in four tries with last night's 4-2 defeat.
Kyle Lohse didn't have his best and lasted only three innings, charged with four runs and seven hits, including a pair of homers. Lohse suffered an ankle injury during one of his at-bats.
"It didn't feel right ... and I tweaked it checking a swing," Lohse said. "I couldn't push off the way I wanted to."
Rickie Weeks and Martin Maldonado hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning to make it interesting for Milwaukee, which is only 1 1/2 games ahead of Pittsburgh and two games in front of St. Louis for the NL Central.
Milwaukee will visit Los Angeles next for three games and hopes Mike Fiers can duplicate his last performance when he takes the mound Thursday. Fiers fired eight innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts and one walk in a 4-1 win over the Dodgers on Saturday.
Fiers is 1-0 with a 1.08 earned run average in two games (1 start) lifetime against the Cubs and 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA overall this season.
Chicago has won 10 of its last 16 games and will close out a seven-game homestand (3-3) this afternoon.
In Wednesday's 4-2 victory over the NL Central-rival Brewers, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo belted consecutive homers to lead off the third inning, while Chris Coghlan finished 3-for-4 with a run scored and a pair of doubles.
Starlin Castro was 3-for-4 as well with an RBI to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.
A day after Kyle Hendricks helped pitch the Cubs to a shutout win, Tsuyoshi Wada held Milwaukee scoreless into the seventh inning before consecutive home runs by Weeks and Maldonado ended his night.
"Kyle and Wada have really stepped up and it's been nice," Rizzo said.
Chicago will visit the New York Mets for four games this weekend.
Cubs starting pitchers have posted seven quality starts in the last seven games and it will be Edwin Jackson's turn Thursday. Jackson is only 6-12 with a 5.61 earned run average and did not have a quality start in Saturday's 4-0 loss to Tampa Bay, charged with four runs -- three earned -- in six innings.
Jackson is only 1-5 in his last six decisions and 4-5 in 12 starts at Wrigley Field this season. The right-hander has made 13 career starts against the Brewers, going 5-6 with a 3.38 ERA. Jackson defeated the Brewers at home on May 17 in a 3-0 win and hurled seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball with a season-high 11 strikeouts.
Milwaukee and Chicago have split 12 matchups this season.
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