Cubs snap four-game losing skid

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Simply being mentioned with Tom Seaver made Greg Maddux feel pretty good.

Maddux earned his 311th victory to tie Seaver for 17th on the career list, allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings to help the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 on Monday night.

"Cool," the Cubs' right-hander said. "Because you know what, I watched [Seaver]. That was one of the guys I was lucky enough to watch.

"Growing up, I was a huge Reds fan. When he went to the Reds, I was all fired up and everything. So, yeah, that's cool," he said.

The Cubs, who were coming off a three-game sweep by the Yankees, had lost four in a row and six of seven.

Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez each hit home runs off Tomo Ohka
(5-4) with two outs in the first to support Maddux, who was tagged for seven runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings by Florida in his last start.

He was much better against the Brewers, and the early run support was important.

"It was quick, bam, bam," Maddux said of the two homers that produced a 3-0 cushion. "It's nice, it's always nice to go out there with a lead."

Maddux (6-4) gave up Lyle Overbay's two-run homer in the third and Rickie Weeks' RBI double in the sixth. He walked three and struck out two before leaving for a pinch-hitter in the seventh and improved to 11-2 in 18 career starts against Milwaukee.

"I left it up and he hit it out," Maddux said of Overbay's shot to deep center.

Overbay said he hit a cut fastball from Maddux.

"He doesn't make many mistakes," Overbay said. "When he does, you have to take advantage of them."

Maddux thought his location wasn't as good as it could have been.

"I thought I got away with a little bit more than I did the last time [against Florida]," he said. "We needed a win, and we got it."

The next Hall of Fame pitcher for Maddux to catch on the career victories list is Gaylord Perry with 314.

Geoff Jenkins cut the Cubs' lead to 5-4 with an RBI single in the eighth off Mike Remlinger. Closer Ryan Dempster relieved and got Damian Miller to ground into a double play to end the eighth, with the help of a stellar play by shortstop Neifi Perez.

Perez made a diving stop to snare Miller's sharply hit grounder behind second base. With his body going toward right field, Perez flipped the ball back to second baseman Todd Walker, who tagged second and then fired to first.

Dempster retired the side in order in the ninth for his ninth consecutive save.

Lee connected on a 1-2 pitch from Ohka for his 19th homer, tying him with Atlanta's Andruw Jones for the NL lead. Jeromy Burnitz
followed with a single before Ramirez hit his 15th homer 430 feet to the seats in left field.

Burnitz made it 4-0 with a two-out RBI double in the third.

Weeks made it 4-3 in the sixth with an RBI double to the left field corner. After an intentional walk to Jenkins, Maddux got Miller to ground out to third to end the threat.

Corey Patterson scored an insurance run in the seventh when center fielder Brady Clark misplayed Lee's line drive.

Ohka wasn't nearly as dominant against the Cubs as he was in his Milwaukee debut after being acquired from the Nationals for second baseman Junior Spivey on June 10.

Monday night, he gave up five runs -- four earned -- on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four.

In his first start for Milwaukee, Ohka pitched a nine-hit shutout against Tampa Bay. It was his first career shutout and fourth consecutive victory.

Game notes
Lee's solo shot in the Cubs' first extended his hitting streak to eight games. ... Cubs right-hander Mark Prior is scheduled to throw a simulated game before Tuesday night's game against the Brewers. "If he does well, he might be able to rejoin the club without having a minor-league rehabilitation stint," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. ... The only active pitcher with more career wins than Maddux is Roger Clemens (332).