Brewers end slide but lose Sheets


CHICAGO — The Milwaukee Brewers overcame the loss of injured starter Ben Sheets and, boosted by Prince Fielder’s three-run double, beat the Chicago Cubs 6-2 Wednesday night to end a five-game losing streak.

Sheets left after two innings because of tightness in his right forearm. The severity of the All-Star’s injury was not immediately known.

The Brewers gave interim manager Dale Sveum his first victory and stayed a half-game behind New York in the NL wild-card race. Milwaukee won for only the fourth time in 16 games — it was Sveum’s second game since replacing the fired Ned Yost.

The Cubs had won five in a row. Their magic number for clinching the NL Central remained at four.

Sheets, who entered the game with a 13-8 record, has battled numerous injuries throughout his career, including groin and triceps problems this year. The only hit he allowed was a leadoff homer to Aramis Ramirez in the second that cut Milwaukee’s lead to 3-1.

Sheets was replaced by Mark DiFelice (1-0), who pitched two innings for his first major league win. Milwaukee used seven relievers in all, and the bullpen pitched scoreless ball until the ninth, when Ryan Theriot’s RBI grounder followed two singles off Salomon Torres.

Fielder, who homered twice and then struck out with two runners on to end the Brewers’ 5-4 loss Tuesday night, lined a bases-loaded double into the right-field corner in the first off Jason Marquis (10-9). Mike Cameron’s leadoff single and walks to Ray Durham and Ryan Braun had filled the bases for the Brewers.

Fielder continued his tear against the Cubs, going 3-for-4. In the two games so far at Wrigley Field, he is 6-for-9 with three doubles, the two homers and six RBIs.

The Brewers added three runs in the seventh off reliever Angel Guzman. Braun walked, Fielder singled, J.J. Hardy hit an RBI double and Corey Hart followed with a two-run single.

Chicago left-fielder Alfonso Soriano cut off the rally by making a strong throw to the plate to get a sliding Hart, who tried to score on a fly ball.

Marquis, who hadn’t pitched in 11 days, had some control issues. He lasted 5 1-3 innings and was pulled after walking two batters and throwing a wild pitch in the sixth. He walked five and gave up six hits.

Notes: The Brewers will start RHP Dave Bush on Thursday on three days’ rest. Sveum said Wednesday that the other starting pitchers may have to do the same. “Anything could happen as far as the pitching goes,” Sveum said. “Every game will be like a playoff game. … Anything goes, probably, the last week of the season.” … Cubs RF Kosuke Fukudome was out of the starting lineup for a fifth straight game and could stay benched unless he picks up his hitting. The NL All-Star’s average has dropped to .259.

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