Despite flulike symptoms, Harris had four hits, including a home run, and scored twice to lead the Brewers over the Chicago Cubs 5-1 Wednesday night.
"Today, I came to the park and I didn't think I was going to play,'' said Harris, who has a major league-leading 168 pinch-hits in his 15-year career. "I went in and got ready.''
Limited to pinch-hitting most of the first half of the season,
Harris has received steady playing time recently with Jeffrey
Hammonds bothered by a sore shoulder.
Harris is hitting .363 (29-for-80) since the All-Star break,
often batting third ahead of Richie Sexson.
"He's just so professional and he brings so much to the team,
especially right now while Jeffrey is hurt a little bit,'' Brewers
manager Jerry Royster said. "All of a sudden, he's a guy I'm
depending on to bat third.
Glendon Rusch (7-13) pitched seven strong innings, scattering seven hits and walking none to improve to 3-0 against the Cubs this year and 6-1 lifetime.
"Things like that are fluky, when you have better records
against certain teams,'' Rusch said. "The key is just making good
Playing their fourth consecutive game without Sammy Sosa, the
Cubs scored in the first inning but did not get a runner past first
base again until the seventh.
Luis Vizcaino got five outs for his fourth save.
Kerry Wood (9-8) gave up three runs, two earned, while striking
out eight in five innings and pitching out of several jams. The
Brewers went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position the first
Wood has not won since July 27, going 0-3 in six starts despite
a 3.82 ERA in that span. The Cubs have scored 19 runs in his eight
"It's to the point now where I don't know what to say, except that it's embarrassing,'' Wood said. "That's all I have to say.''
With the score tied 1-1 in the fifth, Harris hit a two-out
single and scored on Sexson's 27th homer for a 3-1 lead. Harris
then hit his second homer of the season in the seventh for a 4-1 lead.
"He's had the greatest career ever at what he did, and he's
done a great job,'' Royster said. "He's done a great job at what
major league baseball has asked him to do.''
Chicago, which has lost nine of 12 to Milwaukee this year, got a runner to third with one out in the seventh, but Rusch struck out pinch-hitter Bobby Hill and got Todd Hundley to pop out to end the inning.
"It seems like we should score more runs than we have, no doubt,'' Cubs manager Bruce Kimm said. "I'll leave it at that.''
In six August starts, Rusch is 2-3 with a 2.61 ERA.
The Cubs have not homered since Sosa was sidelined with a strained muscle in his neck. They are 1-3, scoring only eight runs.
The Brewers have been outscored 104-54 in the first inning this
season, and have a 6.89 ERA in the first -- worst in the majors.
Milwaukee scored an unearned run in the third to tie it. Eric
Young led off with a walk and moved to second on Harris' single.
On a double steal, catcher Joe Girardi's throw to third sailed
down the line for an error, allowing Young to score.
Ryan Thompson hit his fifth homer in the eighth to give
Milwaukee a 5-1 lead.
Harris was with Cincinnati when he had a career-high five
hits on Aug. 23, 1989, against Montreal. ... Cubs RHP Jason Bere is
scheduled to start Saturday in a doubleheader against St. Louis if
there is no strike. He has been on the disabled list since June 27
with a severe bruise on his right knee. ... Sosa has missed seven
games this season, the most since 1996, when he played in 124.