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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Ryan Braun hit his NL-leading 34th home run of the season, Yovani Gallardo pitched seven strong innings and the Milwaukee Brewers completed a three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs with a 3-2 victory Wednesday.
John Axford pitched a scoreless ninth to convert his second straight save, returning to his role as the Brewers’ closer after he was demoted earlier in the season.
Gallardo (13-8) gave up two runs and four hits, with nine strikeouts and two walks.
Braun hit a solo shot deep to right-center field in the sixth and had an RBI double in the first. With Wednesday’s homer, Braun has surpassed the 33 he hit during his 2011 NL MVP season.
Although the Brewers’ overall season has been a disappointment, they’ve been hot at home, going 9-1-2 in their last 12 series at Miller Park.
Ryan Braun hit his NL-leading 34th home run of the season, Yovani Gallardo pitched seven strong innings and the
David DeJesus and Bryan LaHair homered for Chicago.
Cubs starter Travis Wood (4-10) took the loss but pitched fairly well, giving up three runs and six hits in seven innings with a walk and six strikeouts.
Wood, in his second stint with the big-league club this year, was making his 18th start of the season.
Brewers players began Wednesday by saying goodbye to veteran left-hander Randy Wolf, who was released by the team on his 36th birthday.
Wolf was 3-10 with a 5.69 ERA, and said he didn’t blame the club for making the move.
“I just want to thank them for everything,” Wolf said. “It’s certainly unfortunate that this year was the way it was, and there’s nobody more disappointed about that than I am.”
Both general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke said they expected Wolf to find a job somewhere else — perhaps even this season.
DeJesus led off by pounding a 3-1 pitch from Gallardo over the wall in center. It was his sixth home run of the season — and four of those have come in his last eight games.
DeJesus then appeared to hurt his left hand in a collision with center fielder Brett Jackson while making a sliding attempt at a catch in the bottom half of the inning, but stayed in the game. Milwaukee’s Norichika Aoki ended up with a double after DeJesus and Jackson couldn’t make the catch.
After a strikeout by Rickie Weeks, Braun doubled over the head of LaHair — who appeared to lose track of the ball as it came off the bat — and Aoki scored to tie the game. Braun later scored on a broken-bat bloop double by Corey Hart, giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
After Braun homered in the sixth, LaHair hit his 15th of the season in the seventh to cut the lead to 3-2.
The Brewers blew a chance to pad their lead in the seventh, when Carlos Gomez tried to score on a ball that got away from catcher Steve Clevenger but was thrown out easily.
Notes: Milwaukee recalled INF Jeff Bianchi from Triple-A Nashville. … Brewers starter Shaun Marcum is expected to return from a rehabilitation stint and start Saturday’s game at Pittsburgh. … Brewers SS Jean Segura sat out with a sore foot. … It was the 12th career leadoff home run for DeJesus.
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