Finally … – Cubs 10, Brewers 0

Game Fifty-Five – Cubs 10, Brewers 0
WP – Ryan Dempster (1-3) LP – Yovani Gallardo (4-5) Save – None

wflag.jpgRyan Dempster picked up his first win of the season and his first victory since August 11, 2011 (18 starts). To accentuate how it’s been since Ryan Dempster won a game, Dempster’s last victory came a day before Carlos Zambrano cleaned out his locker and a week before Jim Hendry’s firing was announced.

Ryan Dempster was perfect through five innings and left after allowing just three hits in seven innings. Dempster did not walk a batter and struck out three (3:1 strikeout to walk ratio) and threw 101 pitches, 68 for strikes.

Not only did Ryan Dempster end his streak but the Cubs ended their 11-game road losing streak (May 14 in St. Louis). The Cubs scored 10 runs on Tuesday night after scoring only six runs in the four game series in San Francisco. The 10 runs Tuesday night equaled the run output from the Cubs previous five road games.

The Cubs scored runs in five of the nine innings despite the fact they struck out 14 times Tuesday night … and two of the Cubs three home runs on the night came off Yovani Gallardo.

Alfonso Soriano (1-for-3 with a home run, three RBI and a walk) hit his ninth homer of the season in the first inning. Soriano’s three-run shot appeared to relax the team and gave Dempster all of the run support he would need. Alfonso Soriano became the first Cub to hit home runs in eight straight series since Corey Patterson and Derrek Lee accomplished the feat in 2004.

Bryan LaHair (2-for-5 with a home run) also got off the snide Tuesday. LaHair hit his first home run since May 15 (11th of the season), a solo shot in the fourth that gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead. The Cubs were 3-16 in the 19 games since LaHair hit his tenth home run.

Starlin Castro (3-for-5 with a double and a run scored) had a big night at the plate and in the field after one of the worst games of his young career. David DeJesus (0-for-2 with a RBI, a sac bunt, two walks and three runs scored), Darwin Barney (1-for-4 with a RBI) and Steve Clevenger (1-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored) drove in runs and helped take away any doubt that two streaks would end on Tuesday night. Jeff Baker hit his first longball of the season, a two-run shot in the ninth pinch hitting for Shawn Camp. Baker’s fourth career pinch-hit homer plated the Cubs final two runs.

Shawn Camp and Jairo Asencio pitched the final two innings and helped preserve Dempster’s shutout.

Tuesday also marked the first time the Cubs beat a team other than the Padres in three weeks.

With Tuesday’s win, the Cubs improved to 19-36 on the season …

Yovani Gallardo struck out Tony Campana swinging to start the ballgame. Starlin Castro followed with a single to left center. David DeJesus showed his patience again and worked a walk.

Alfonso Soriano stepped in with two on and one down. Soriano took a slider for strike one then drove a fastball over the wall in right. The Cubs took a 3-0 lead on Soriano’s ninth longball of the season.

Bryan LaHair singled to right center on a 3-1 pitch but was stranded. Steve Clevenger flied out to left and Darwin Barney looked at strike three to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster sat down the Brewers in order in the first on 16 pitches, 12 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the second … Gallardo struck out the side.

Starlin Castro fielded three groundballs in the second as Dempster retired the Brewers in order (28 pitches, 20 for strikes).

The Cubs struck out swinging two more times in the third and quickly went down in order. Yovani Gallardo struck out six of the seven batters he faced from the end of the first through the third.

The bottom of the Brewers order did nothing against Ryan Dempster in the third. Dempster sat down the first nine batters he faced on 40 pitches, 27 for strikes.

Bryan LaHair led off the fourth with the Cubs first hit since his single in the first. LaHair reached down and lifted a 2-2 pitch over the wall in right. LaHair’s first longball since May 15 gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead. Gallardo refocused and struck out both Clevenger and Barney swinging (ninth strikeout for Gallardo) and retired Stewart on a pop out to left center to end the inning.

The Brewers did nothing against Dempster in the fourth.

After Ryan Dempster popped out to center to start the fifth, Tony Campana reached on an infield single to first. The inexperienced Corey Hart fielded the ball and tried to toss to Gallardo but the speedy Campana dove into first with an infield base knock. Campana took off for second on a 2-2 pitch to Castro. Starlin Castro ripped Gallardo’s outside pitch into right. Campana ended up at third with one out.

David DeJesus dropped a perfect bunt in between the mound and first base. Campana scampered home with the Cubs’ fifth run. With Castro at second, Soriano struck out swinging to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster retired the Brewers in order in the fifth (64 pitches, 44 strikes).

The Cubs did nothing in the sixth.

Cody Ransom led off the sixth with a single to left center (1-2 pitch) … the Brewers’ first hit and baserunner of the night. Martin Maldonado popped out to Barney for the first out. Nyjer Morgan hit for Gallardo and flied out to left center for the second out. Carlos Gomez lined Dempster’s first pitch into left. Dempster collected himself and retired Norichika Aoki on a pop out to left. Dempster threw 80 pitches in six innings, 55 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the seventh. Manny Parra struck out Stewart, Dempster and Campana in order.

Ryan Braun led off the Brewers’ seventh with a double to left (1-2 pitch). Ian Stewart made an excellent play on a grounder up the third base line off the bat of Corey Hart. Braun held at second. Taylor Green fouled out to Clevenger and Weeks grounded out to short (1-2 pitch) to end the inning. Dempster threw 101 pitches over seven innings, 68 for strikes.

After seven, the Cubs led 5-0.

Starlin Castro led off the eighth with a double to left center off Manny Parra. David DeJesus hit a blooper to the hole at short. Cody Ransom fielded the ball and caught Castro too far off the bag. Castro was eventually tagged out. DeJesus advanced to second and Sveum came out to ask if Castro was tagged. After a meeting of the minds, the umps confirmed that Castro was tagged for the first out. Alfonso Soriano looked at Parra’s first two offerings. Parra’s third pitch got away from Maldonado. DeJesus advanced to third on a wild pitch and Parra issued ball four intentionally to Soriano. LaHair struck out swinging for the second out.

Steve Clevenger reached out and punched a 1-2 pitch from Parra into center. DeJesus scored the Cubs’ sixth run of the night. Ron Roenicke went to his pen and brought in Tim Dillard to face Darwin Barney.

With runners on first and second with two down, Barney blooped a single to right that fell in front of Aoki. Soriano scored as Clevenger appeared to be caught in a run down. Clevenger paused to make sure Soriano scored, then ran toward third. Taylor Green ran Clevenger back toward second. Green flipped the ball to Ransom. Clevenger realized no one was covering third and was called safe after he beat Ransom to third (replays showed Clevenger was indeed tagged by Ransom). With runners on second and third, Dillard intentionally walked Ian Stewart to load the bases.

Adrian Cardenas hit for Ryan Dempster and walked on four pitches. Clevenger scored the Cubs’ eighth run. Campana grounded out to first to end the inning.

Shawn Camp took over in the eighth. Cody Ransom singled to center. George Kottaras hit for Maldonado and drove a 2-1 pitch into left for a double. Camp retired the next three batters he faced … Brooks Conrad (struck out swinging), Carlos Gomez (popped out to second) and Norichika Aoki (grounded out to first) went down in order to end the inning.

Lefty Juan Perez took over for the Brewers in the ninth. Starlin Castro lined out to second for the first out. David DeJesus walked then trotted home when Jeff Baker crushed a 2-2 pitch from Perez into the second deck beyond the left field wall. Baker’s first homer of the season and fourth career pinch-hit homer put the Cubs up 10-0. LaHair and Clevenger grounded out to second to end the inning.

Jairo Asencio issued a one-out, four-pitch walk to Corey Hart in the ninth but that was all. Rickie Weeks popped out to Castro to end the game … Cubs Win!

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Paul Maholm is scheduled to face Zack Greinke in game two Wednesday night.

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Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne