CHICAGO (AP) — Jeff Bianchi hit a three-run shot for his first big league homer, leading the Milwaukee Brewers to a 4-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
Bianchi went deep off Travis Wood (4-11) with two outs in the second for Milwaukee, which has won seven of eight overall and has beaten the Cubs seven straight times.
Yovani Gallardo (14-8) won his seventh straight start, holding Chicago to one run and three hits over seven innings and striking out nine. Gallardo has won six straight starts since July 31, pitching seven or more innings in each. He’s held the Cubs to a single run in each of his last four appearances at Wrigley Field.
John Axford finished up for his 21st save in 29 chances.
Wood lost for the eighth time in nine starts despite limiting Milwaukee to five hits and three runs over seven innings.
The Cubs have lost 21 of their last 27 games.
Wood provided the only offense on the night for Chicago, going deep off Gallardo in the third inning for this third career home run.
Milwaukee has beaten Chicago in 12 of their last 15 meetings, including Monday’s 15-4 drubbing which lasted 3 hours, 43 minutes.
Tuesday’s game moved at a much brisker pace.
Bianchi started his big league career 0 for 15 but had hits in four straight plate appearances coming in before homering in his first at-bat against Wood.
Bianchi was with the Cubs for about a month during the offseason after being claimed off waivers from the Kansas City Royals in December. Chicago also waived him in January to free up a roster spot, and he was claimed by the Brewers.
Wood settled down after Bianchi’s homer and allowed just two baserunners over his final five innings. Wood has allowed three runs or fewer in five of his last six starts — all losses.
Milwaukee tacked on a run in the eighth when Norichika Aoki doubled and stole third. He came home when Shawn Camp picked Rickie Weeks off first. As the Cubs chased Weeks in a rundown, Aoki slid home with the run on what was scored a fielder’s choice.
The Cubs’ beleaguered bullpen entered the game with a 6.09 ERA in August.
After Alfonso Soriano’s third-inning walk, Gallardo retired the last 13 Cubs he faced, striking out five.
Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro went 1 for 4, singling in his first at-bat and striking out to end the game. Before the game, Chicago announced that it had agreed to a seven-year extension with Castro, including an option for an eighth year that would keep Castro in a Cubs uniform past his 30th birthday.
NOTES: Before the game, the Cubs activated RHP Blake Parker from the 60-day DL. Parker had been out since June 6 with a right elbow stress reaction. … LHP Alex Hinshaw was designated for assignment one night after he allowed five runs, including three consecutive homers, without retiring a batter during Milwaukee’s nine-run ninth. … Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was pleased to hear the Baltimore Orioles signed LHP Randy Wolf, who Milwaukee released Aug. 22. “Hopefully he can go in there and start off well, and they like him enough to where he’ll be part of what they do,” Roenicke said. … Darwin Barney completed his 113th consecutive errorless game at second base for Chicago, tying an NL record set by San Diego’s David Eckstein in 2010.
© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.