By Matt Abbatacola-
CHICAGO (CBS) Kosuke Fukudome had a huge day as the Cubs beat Milwaukee 12-7 to take three out of four from their division rivals and win their first series since May 26th. The right-fielder went 3-for-5 with a triple, a 3-run homer, 3 runs scored, and 4 RBI.
In the first inning with Nyjer Morgan on first after beating out an infield grounder, Ryan Braun took the first pitch he saw from Matt Garza deep into the left-field bleachers for his 15th homer on the season giving Milwaukee an early 2-0 lead. The Cubs immediately answered in their half of the first as Kosuke Fukudome led-off with a single to center and Starlin Castro drove him home with a double to the left-field corner. Castro advanced to third on a Blake DeWitt fly-out to right. After Aramis Ramirez struck out, Carlos Pena came to the plate. During Pena’s at-bat, catcher, George Kottaras, couldn’t handle a Zach Greinke pitch and Castro scored on the passed ball tying the game at two.
After a lead-off walk by Corey Hart in the second, Kottaras quickly made up for the passed ball as he took an 0-1 pitch from Garza to the right-field bleachers giving Milwaukee a 4-2 lead.
Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto led-off the second with back-to-back singles putting runners at first and third with no outs. Tony Campana and Garza struck out swinging bringing up Fukudome with two outs. Soriano scored from third on a Greinke wild-pitch making it 4-3. Fukudome then drove a ball down the first base line deep into the corner for a triple as Soto scored from second after advancing from first on the wild pitch tying the game at four. Castro walked and DeWitt reached on a Weeks’ error scoring Fukudome to give the Cubs a 5-4 lead after two innings of play.
The Brewers tied the game at five in the third after Braun reached on a fielder’s choice and Casey McGehee drove him home with a double to center.
The Cubs regained the lead in the third on a solo homer from Carlos Pena, his tenth on the season.
In the sixth inning, the Cubs would add to their one-run lead. Soto and Campana singled and Fukudome hit his third homer of the season to give the Cubs the 9-5 lead.
Sean Marshall came on in relief of Garza who threw 99 pitches over six innings while striking out three and giving up five runs.
In back-to-back at-bats, Brewers lead-off hitter, Rickie Weeks, was thrown out at second by Fukudome trying to stretch singles into a doubles … neither play was close.
In the seventh, Soriano hit a 2-run homer after Pena’s lead-off double. It was Soriano’s 13th on the season and gave the Cubs an 11-5 lead.
The Cubs continued to extend their lead in the eighth as Ramirez drove home pinch-hitter, Lou Montanez, who reached on a fielder’s choice. The run scoring double gave the Cubs a 12-5 advantage.
In the ninth, Mike Quade called on veteran lefty pitcher, John Grabow, to close out the game. Milwaukee added two runs before Grabow got yesterday’s hero, Rickie Weeks, to ground into a game ending double play.