Series: Game 3 of 3

Milwaukee won 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday, June 24
Chi Cubs9
Game 2: Wednesday, June 25
in 10
Chi Cubs6
Game 3: Thursday, June 26
Chi Cubs3

Brewers 5

(32-45, 17-18 away)

Cubs 3

(41-36, 20-19 home)

    2:20 PM ET, June 26, 2003

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

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    MIL 000002003 5 6 0
    CHC 000120000 3 6 0

    W: L. Estrella (2-0)

    L: J. Borowski (1-1)

    S: M. DeJean (16)

    Jenkins' clout lifts Brewers in the ninth

    CHICAGO (AP) -- After all those strikeouts, Mark Prior was worn out. Moments later, his Chicago Cubs were cooked, too.

    Prior struck out a career-high 16 in eight innings, but wound up with a no-decision when Milwaukee's Geoff Jenkins hit a three-run homer in the ninth to rally the Brewers to a 5-3 win Thursday.

    Prior was brilliant, allowing two runs and four hits with no walks. His strikeout total was the highest in the majors this year.

    But with his pitch count at 126, Cubs manager Dusty Baker pulled Prior with a 3-2 lead -- an edge built on Sammy Sosa's two-run home run.

    "It wasn't very tough," Baker said of the decision. "It was tough to send Mark out there in the eighth. That was the tough one, he had 112 or 14 pitches before he started that inning."

    "You get chastised if you take him out and you get chastised if he goes too long. He's such a valuable commodity, you couldn't stretch him any further than that," he said.

    Prior wasn't willing to risk anything, either.

    "I was tired. We have had conversations about trying to learn how to be honest because it is a long season," the 22-year-old ace said. "I was gassed going out in the eighth inning."

    Cubs reliever Joe Borowski (1-1) gave up a leadoff single to Scott Podsednik in the ninth and walked Keith Ginter. Jenkins followed with a shot onto Sheffield Avenue.

    "He's shut us down in Milwaukee and we just got lucky to get something to hit," said Jenkins.

    Jenkins homered for the fourth straight game.

    Leo Estrella (2-0) pitched the eighth to get the victory. Mike DeJean picked up his 16th save in 20 opportunities by pitching a perfect ninth.

    Prior pitched for the first time since losing last Thursday to Cincinnati 3-1, and he was sharp from the start. He struck out eight in the first four innings.

    "I think today maybe it wasn't so much stuff, it's just that I did a good job of locating my fastball on both sides of the plate," said Prior.

    Prior fanned Enrique Cruz leading off the sixth, reaching the double-digit mark in strikeouts for the 10th time in 35 career starts. He has done it four times this season.

    Jenkins was happy to see Prior leave the game after the eighth. Jenkins was 0-for-3 against Prior with two strikeouts.

    "He's filthy. That's the most dominated I've felt this year. That game was incredible," Jenkins said. "He was in and out with his fastball, 95, threw me a couple changeups, kept me off-balance and it's tough to decide when he throws a curveball which one is a strike and which one is a ball."

    Mark Grudzielanek led off the Cubs fifth with a single and one out later, Sosa hit a 3-0 pitch from Wayne Franklin onto Waveland Avenue, giving the Cubs a 3-0 lead.

    It was Sosa's third home run in the last three days and 10th of the season.

    Prior had retired 13 straight batters before allowing a single by Podsednik in the sixth. Ginter followed with a two-run homer to left, his second of the season and second in as many days.

    But Prior rebounded in the seventh and eighth, striking out the side in both innings. He got Wes Helms looking to end the seventh, his 13th strikeout, tying his career high.

    Prior blew by Keith Osik and Cruz in the eighth and ended the inning by getting pinch-hitter Brooks Kieschnick swinging for his 16th strikeout.

    "I was really pushing myself because I knew what I had," said Prior. "I think the best thing was the eighth inning, because I was tired, I was just relaxed, throwing the ball."

    Kerry Wood was the last Cubs pitcher to get 16 strikeouts in a game, doing it on Aug. 4, 2002, at Cincinnati.

    Moises Alou led off the Cubs fourth with a single and advanced to third on Eric Karros' double. Alou scored on Alex Gonzalez's groundout.

    Game notes

    Cubs C Damian Miller missed his second straight game with a bruised right foot. He is day-to-day. ... Brewers SS Royce Clayton got the day off. He is 2-for-36 against the Cubs on the season. ... Milwaukee slugger Richie Sexson, who went 1-for-4, has gone a season-high 11 straight games without a homer.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press