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Friday, May 16, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Brewers 4, Cubs 3

By Jesse Rogers



CHICAGO -- Here's a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 4-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday:

How it happened: The Brewers got out to a 4-0 lead thanks to some poor defense and some early struggles by Jeff Samardzija. Jonathan Lucroy had a run-scoring single in the first inning while errors by Junior Lake and Starlin Castro contributed to another run crossing the plate. In the second inning a passed ball by Wellington Castillo set up a two-run single by Jean Segura. The Cubs got two back in the bottom of the second on a two-run home run by Darwin Barney then added one in the fourth on a long ball by Lake. But Castillo hit into a double play with the tying run on third and Kyle Lohse went on to retire the next 12 batters before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. The Cubs extended that streak to 16 before Starlin Castro singled to lead off the ninth. Samardzija lasted five innings giving up six hits and three walks to go along with four runs, though two were unearned.

What it means: Samardzija is still living up to his hard-luck loser status as two of his four runs were unearned. Three errors and a passed ball while he was on the mound increased his pitch count and stress level. He threw 99 in just five innings. For the first time this season he wasn't at his best but he kept his team in the game. He's 0-4 with a 1.62 ERA. The Cubs are 13-27.

Key moment: It may have come in the first inning in a 0-0 game. Lucroy battled Samardzija to a 12-pitch at-bat which included a wild one. His eventual base hit scored Segura from second and Samardzija struggled for the rest of that inning and the next. And it drove up his pitch count contributing to an early exit.

Down on the farm: Triple-A Iowa hurler Kyle Hendricks threw eight innings of scoreless ball on Thursday striking out 11. He lowered his ERA to 3.06.

What's next: Game 2 of the series is 1:20 p.m. CT Saturday with the Cubs' Edwin Jackson (2-3, 4.56) opposed by Matt Garza (2-3, 4.98)