- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Cubs’ 4-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers in 10 innings on Thursday:
HOW IT HAPPENED: Norichika Aoki's second home run of the day beat the Cubs in the 10th inning. Bryan LaHair’s pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning got starter Matt Garza off the hook. He was seeking his first victory since April, winless in his last five outings, including losses in three consecutive starts. Garza surrendered a lead-off home run to Aoki in the fourth inning and an RBI single by George Kottaras in the sixth. The Cubs came into the game against left-hander Randy Wolf with the lowest batting average in the league versus lefties (.222 ). Garza pitched six innings, allowing two runs on just two hits in yet another outing without run support. Koyie Hill drove in a run in the seventh that scored Jeff Baker before Wolf was taken out. The pinch-hit home run by LaHair was the second of his career, and he leads all National League first baseman in home runs with 12 .
WHAT IT MEANS: Not very much at this point. GM Jed Hoyer said on Wednesday that he and president Theo Epstein can put all of their attention toward the trade deadline and look at options for the future now that the draft is over. Ryan Dempster’s name will be among the most prominent available before the July 31 deadline. On the field the Cubs are still looking for offense . No word yet on any timeline for first baseman Anthony Rizzo’s promotion from Triple-A Iowa.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: Catchers Geovany Soto and Welington Castillo are at different stages of their rehabs. Manager Dale Sveum said Thursday that Soto was still having trouble moving in his setup due to a knee injury. Castillo was sent to Double A to begin his rehab on his MCL sprain after Thursday’s game . … Alfonso Soriano has the most home runs in baseball since May 15 with nine.
NEXT: The Cubs return to interleague play, taking on the Minnesota Twins. Left-hander Travis Wood (0-2, 4.56 ) opposes Twins right-hander P.J. Walters (2-1, 3.69) in the opener at 7:10 p.m. CT Friday.
Norichika Aoki's second homer of the day beat the Cubs in the 10th.