Cubs miss sweep of Brewers

Cubs miss sweep of Brewers

CHICAGO -- Baseball's other Mr. Lee was the force on Thursday.

Carlos Lee hit a pair of home runs to raise his Major League-leading RBI total to 72 and power the Milwaukee Brewers to a 10-6 victory over the Chicago Cubs, snapping their winning streak at four games.

"They play us tough," said Chicago's Derrek Lee, who went 0-for-4, only his 15th hitless game out of 77. "It's never going to be easy against those guys. It was a slugging game, and they slugged better than we did."

Michael Barrett belted a two-run homer for the Cubs and Jerry Hairston hit a solo shot, but it wasn't enough to help Greg Maddux (7-5) avoid losing for the second time in his last seven starts. He gave up six runs on a season-high 10 hits over five innings.

"I got a lot of mistakes hit today and you tip your hat," Maddux said. "I got beat."

"It was just a matter of getting the ball up and location," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said of Maddux. "They had two-out rallies and that was the key."

The Brewers scored seven of their 10 runs with two outs. But that's not the main concern for the Cubs right now. The team finally got Mark Prior and Kerry Wood back from the disabled list, and will find out on Friday how serious third baseman Aramis Ramirez is hurt. Ramirez was hit by a pitch on the left shin in the fifth inning and had to leave the game.

Cubs athletic trainer Mark O'Neal said X-rays were negative and said Ramirez suffered a contusion.

"It'll be a game-time decision [Friday] and right now we'll list him as day-to-day," O'Neal said.

The Cubs need Ramirez, who batted .365 (35-for-96) in June with seven home runs and 23 RBIs.

"I don't think anybody wants to lose him," Barrett said.

O'Neal said Ramirez took himself out of the game, saying he couldn't make a quick move. He was hit by a Chris Capuano pitch, right below his left knee.

Maddux appeared to hurt an ankle during a play in the second, but said he was fine. What happened?

"I stepped in a pot hole," he said.

Back to the game. J.J. Hardy and Damian Miller each drove in two runs as well as Capuano (8-6), who hit a two-run single and held the Cubs to five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits over six innings.

Carlos Lee smacked a two-run homer in the first and a solo shot with two out in the eighth and now has 22 homers for the season. Chicago's Derrek Lee is second in the NL with 65 RBIs.

"Stopping Carlos Lee is tough at times," Barrett said. "You've got to make solid pitches on the guy. He got us early in the game and he got us late in the game. [On Wednesday], we made good pitches on him and when we needed to, we put him on base without giving him a chance to beat us."

Hairston led off the Cubs first with his second home run, and fifth career leadoff blast. He also did so May 30 in Los Angeles against Wilson Alvarez.

The Brewers rattled off four straight hits off Maddux in the second, including an RBI single by Hardy and a two-run single by Capuano, to go ahead 5-1. The Cubs missed the cutoff man on Hardy's hit, which might have thwarted the Brewers a little. Maddux wasn't upset.

"I made a lot of bad throws, too," he said.

Jose Macias hit an RBI single in the Chicago second to drive in Jason Dubois, who had doubled, and closed the gap to 5-2.

Barrett smacked his ninth home run with a man on in the fourth to close to 5-4. One out later, Ronny Cedeno doubled and scored one batter later on third baseman Bill Hall's wild throw to tie the game.

Miller hit a tie-breaking RBI single in the fifth and added a solo homer with two out in the seventh. Jenkins and Hardy hit back-to-back doubles in the seventh.

"When you score six runs, that's generally enough," Baker said. "We just couldn't hold them."

The Cubs ended June 40-37 overall, and above .500 for the third consecutive year.

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