Lee, Ramirez lift Cubs to win in Milwaukee

Lee, Ramirez lift Cubs to win in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- Jerome Williams made a great first impression on the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.

Derrek Lee, the hottest hitter in the National League, and Aramis Ramirez each belted two-run homers in the seventh inning to help Williams win his Cubs debut, lifting Chicago to a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Lee went 1-for-4 and is batting .390, still tops in the National League. His home run was his 20th, which helped him keep pace with Atlanta's Andruw Jones, who also hit his 20th Tuesday. Both are tied for the league lead. Lee's blast also raised his RBI total to 60, tied for first with Milwaukee's Carlos Lee.

"It's been a good run and I'm feeling great," Lee said. "It's nice to contribute. To get to those things so quick is a pretty good start. I have to try to keep it going."

Lee recorded his 20th home run in his 69th game. The club record for fastest to 20 is 54 games, shared by Dave Kingman (1979) and Sammy Sosa (1999).

Williams (1-2), one of two pitchers acquired from the San Francisco Giants on May 28 for LaTroy Hawkins, gave up three hits -- including two solo homers by Bill Hall -- and four walks over seven innings while striking out six.

"My sinker was working, my changeup was working, and the defense was awesome for me, too," Williams said. "I just felt confident out there."

He did admit to a few jitters in the first inning. The right-hander was 0-2 in four games with the Giants this year before he was sent to the Minor Leagues on April 25. His last start, coincidently, was against the Brewers. In that game, Carlos Lee hit two home runs off Williams. This time, it was Hall.

"I don't like that," Williams said of the multiple homers. "It was two-seam pitches I threw to him and he took advantage of them. You've got to tip your hat and get him the next time."

The only casualty, other than Hall's homers, was Williams' puka shell necklace, which broke in the sixth inning. His mother had given him the necklace before she died of breast cancer, and he has worn it ever since. Hopefully, he'll find some Crazy Glue to fix it.

"It was an excellent debut for Jerome," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "Had it not been for Billy Hall, they wouldn't have gotten any runs. Billy had a great day over there, but Jerome made the pitches when he had to and he did an outstanding job. He kept the ball down and worked pretty quickly."

Ryan Dempster, who pitched 1 2/3 innings on Monday, pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 11 opportunities. The right-hander is the first Cubs pitcher since Antonio Alfonseca did so in May 2002 to record a save the day after collecting a save of more than one inning. Shortstop Neifi Perez should get an assist. He made another dazzling play to end the game -- "a Gold Glove play," Baker said.

Dempster also was impressed by the 23-year-old Williams.

"Two solo homers, that's all he gave up. Tip your cap to him," Dempster said.

Hall hit his ninth home run with one out in the Brewers' second and added his 10th with one out in the fourth to take a 2-0 lead. It was Hall's first career multihomer game.

   Todd Hollandsworth  /   LF
Born: 04/20/73
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 215 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: L

The Cubs could only muster four hits off starter Victor Santos. Todd Hollandsworth tripled to lead off the Cubs' seventh, a play that was first called an error on Geoff Jenkins in right field and then corrected, and Lee followed with his home run off the first pitch from Santos (2-7).

"He made a bad pitch and left it up," Lee said of Santos. "When a pitcher leaves a breaking ball up there, it's kind of easy to see it. It was one of those things that he made a mistake and I was able to take advantage of it."

Ramirez followed suit. Jeromy Burnitz had reached on a fielding error by second baseman Rickie Weeks, and Ramirez launched the first pitch over the left-field fence for his 16th home run to the delight of the Cubs fans in the crowd of 40,300 at Miller Park. And there were a lot of them.

"Both times on first pitches, and they weren't good pitches, but again, Vic made good pitches all night long," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "You can't make mistakes to those two guys. You might get away with it with some guys, but right now, making them to Ramirez and Lee, they are going to hit them a long way."

Santos had given up a single to Hollandsworth with one out in the first, and faced the minimum over the next five innings.

"I told Jerome that if he can keep it close, we have the kind of team that can come back," Baker said.

"If he can continue to pitch like that," Lee said, "it'll be great lift for us."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.