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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Brewers Win Series Finale Against Cubs, 5-4



From Sportsline.com:

Geremi Gonzalez was once a promising pitcher in Chicago, an 11-game winner as a rookie with the Cubs in 1997.

Much has changed -- including the spelling of his first name -- after arm problems slowed his career. Gonzalez returned Thursday, this time as a spot starter for the Milwaukee Brewers, and beat Mark Prior for a victory against his former team.

"I love this place. Everybody in baseball loves Wrigley Field and they want to play here," Gonzalez said after a five-inning outing that helped the Brewers beat the Cubs 5-4.

Gonzalez (1-0) got the ball when Doug Davis was scratched from his start a day earlier because of a stiff back. Gonzalez went by "Jeremi" most of his career before pointing out to the Brewers after a trade from the Mets last month that "Geremi" was the correct spelling.

He allowed three hits and two unearned runs with five walks and six strikeouts to earn his first win as a starter since May 8, 2005, with the Red Sox.

The only two runs he gave up were set up by his own error when he failed to catch a popped bunt by Todd Walker, walked two batters and gave up a two-run single to Jacque Jones in the fifth.

"I was running to the popup, screaming, `I got it, I got it, I got it.' As soon as I got to the ball, I think I lost concentration," Gonzalez said.

"Geremi lost his opportunity to win a Gold Glove and cost himself about 16-17 extra pitches and two runs," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said.

The Brewers sent Prior to his third straight defeat, scoring four of their five runs with two outs.

And they escaped a jam in the eighth when closer Derrick Turnbow struck out Derrek Lee with runners at second and third. The Cubs stranded 12 runners.

"He came at me with fastballs and just beat me," said Lee, playing his fifth game since coming off the disabled list (broken wrist).

"I figured I'd throw my best pitch and see what happens," Turnbow said.

Turnbow also pitched the ninth for his 23rd save in 27 chances, striking out Ronny Cedeno with a runner on second to end it.

Milwaukee won three times in the four-game series at Wrigley Field, where the Cubs have lost 10 of 11.

Corey Koskie homered against Prior (0-3), who came off the disabled list June 18. He allowed eight hits and five runs with four walks and nine strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

The Brewers loaded the bases with none out in the sixth on a walk and two singles before Prior struck out Damian Miller and Brady Clark. But pinch-hitter Gabe Gross dumped a two-run single into shallow left, putting the Brewers up 5-2 and finishing Prior.

"I know what I want to do mentally, but unfortunately I'm not able to do it physically or haven't been able to execute it," Prior said. "And that's the frustrating part. ... I made a good pitch on Gross right there and you can't do much more than throw the pitch. ... The bases shouldn't have been loaded."

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