Cubs belt three homers, but errors again hurt

Cubs belt three homers, but errors again hurt

Cubs belt three homers, but errors again hurt
PHOENIX -- Casey McGehee homered twice against his former team and drove in four runs, as the Brewers beat the Cubs for the second time in three days, 12-5, at Maryvale Baseball Park on Wednesday.

McGehee, waived by the Cubs after the 2008 season, hit a two-run home run in a six-run first inning marred by three of the Cubs' five errors and a dustup in the Chicago dugout involving starting pitcher Carlos Silva. McGehee added a solo homer in the third inning and an RBI single in the fourth as Milwaukee built a comfortable lead.

"Especially in the beginning of Spring Training, sometimes it's not the most realistic," said McGehee, downplaying his big day. "You've got a guy working on a pitch, or, if you get ahead [in the count as a hitter], they don't want to talk to anybody because they want guys swinging the bats so they can get a read on things.

"It's definitely more fun than the alternative. But I know that through the course of spring, it's going to go up and down. You can't get too overly excited about an at-bat on March 3."

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With five more errors on Wednesday, the Cubs have been charged with 14 in their first four Cactus League Games.

A Brewers split-squad also beat the Cubs on Monday, and now the National League Central rivals won't meet again until April 8-10 at Miller Park.

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro touched Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo for a two-run homer in the top of the first inning, but that lead didn't last. Cubs right-hander Silva issued a leadoff walk before the Brewers' shortstop, Luis Cruz, answered Castro's blast with one of his own. Three batters later, McGehee's homer made it 4-2, and Milwaukee tacked on two more runs on an RBI single by right fielder Brandon Boggs and a groundout by No. 9 hitter Erick Almonte.

The final three Brewers runs of the inning were unearned because of three Chicago errors -- a dropped popup by third baseman Aramis Ramirez, a bobbled grounder by Castro and a catcher's interference charged to Koyie Hill. Ramirez was charged with another error in the third inning.

After Silva's long first inning, Cubs players and coaches scrambled in the dugout to break up a scuffle, apparently between Silva and Ramirez. Right-hander Jay Jackson took over for Silva in the second inning. Silva, who declined through a club spokesperson to discuss the incident, was charged with six runs, three earned, on three hits and a walk.

"Carlos and Aramis, they have a lot of years in the big leagues, and I think they want to talk, and I hope when they talk, everything stays behind them," said outfielder Alfonso Soriano, who hit a solo homer in the sixth. "We don't need that. We have a lot of pressure in Chicago with the fans and the media, so we don't need that on the team."

In his first spring start, Gallardo allowed two runs on a hit and a walk, with two strikeouts in two innings. After walking Kosuke Fukudome to start the game and allowing Castro's home run, Gallardo retired the final six hitters he faced.

Cubs pinch-hitter Brad Snyder added a solo shot in the ninth for Chicago's third homer of the game.

Up next for Cubs: Carlos Zambrano will make his second spring start on Thursday, when the Cubs play host to the Rangers at HoHoKam Park. Zambrano went two innings in his last start against the Athletics on Sunday, walking one and striking out two. Braden Looper is slated to follow Big Z. Looper did not pitch in 2010 but signed a Minor League contract with the Cubs. Blake DeWitt is penciled in as the leadoff man.

Up next for Brewers: The team completes its first turn through the remade starting rotation on Thursday, when left-hander Randy Wolf takes the Maryvale Baseball Park mound against righty Trevor Cahill and the A's in the annual charity game between the two Phoenix-based teams. Wolf will try to pick up where he finished 2010, when he was 6-3 with a 2.67 ERA over his final 13 starts.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.