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Cubs done in by tough 1st inning

Saturday - 4/20/2013, 1:15am  ET

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kevin Gregg throws during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday, April 19, 2013, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

JOE DiGIOVANNI
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A lack of timely hitting and a crucial first inning error cost the Chicago Cubs Friday night in a game that produced a memorable piece of baserunning by Milwaukee's Jean Segura.

Segura somehow wound up safe at first base after attempting to steal third, only to later be thrown out attempting to steal second base again in the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 win over the Cubs.

"I don't know if that's ever happened in the history of the game - a guy steals second and gets thrown out trying to steal second in the same inning," said Chicago manager Dale Sveum, who was ejected in the sixth inning.

Sveum was ejected by plate umpire Chris Guccione for arguing a called ball from Samardzija on a 2-2 pitch to Braun.

"We battled," Sveum said. "We outplayed them over the last eight innings but that seems to be par for the course."

For the game, the Cubs went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Chicago is batting .144 (16 for 111) with runners in scoring position this season.

Samardzija pitched seven innings, giving up five runs, four earned, on six hits and a walk while striking out four. He retired 11 consecutive batters between the second and sixth innings.

"I wouldn't say it rattled me in the first inning," Samardzija said. "I tried to limit the damage."

Segura led off the eighth inning with a single and stole second before Braun walked. He attempted to steal third, but Shawn Camp didn't deliver a pitch. Instead, he threw to third well ahead of Segura, who turned and went back to second.

Braun was there, and shortstop Luis Valbuena tagged both runners as they stood on the bag.

The rules say only the trailing runner is out in that case, but Segura trotted down the line toward first base and the home dugout, then appeared to realize what had happened and sped into the unoccupied base.

He later attempted a straight steal of second, but Cubs catcher Welington Castillo threw him out.

"It's just a weird moment," Segura said.

None of it mattered because Ryan Braun hit a three-run home run off Jeff Samardjiza (1-3) to key a four-run first inning that the Brewers never relinquished.

Samardzija had some tough luck, needing 27 pitches to retire the Brewers in the first. Norichika Aoki reached on a fielding error by Anthony Rizzo at first base to open the inning.

Aoki broke for second on the first pitch to Segura. The Brewers shortstop hit the ball squarely to the right side of the infield in what could have been an easy double play ball, but Darwin Barney had vacated the spot to cover second and the ball went into right field for a single, with Aoki taking third.

Braun then hit the fifth pitch from Samardzija for his fourth home run to give the Brewers a 3-0 lead.

"You have to get him early," Braun said. "You saw it tonight. Once he settles in, he's as tough as anybody in baseball."

Rickie Weeks followed with a bloop double down the right-field line, and Jonathan Lucroy hit a liner into the right-field corner for a triple, scoring Weeks and giving Milwaukee a 4-0 lead.

"It all started with the first ground ball of the game," Sveum said of Rizzo's error. "That sent everything into a tail spin. Easy ground ball, and then they were able to hit and run. That would have never happened if we would have gotten Aoki out and unfortunately it snowballed into four runs."

Rizzo hit his fifth homer of the year for the Cubs.

Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada (2-0) pitched out of trouble in his six innings, getting three double plays and holding the Cubs hitless in six at-bats with runners in scoring position. The right-hander gave up three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four.

Jim Henderson pitched the ninth for his third save in three chances.

NOTES: The Cubs claimed OF Julio Borbon off waivers from Texas on Friday. He arrived at Miller Park in the ninth inning and pinch-ran with two outs, but was thrown out trying to steal second to end the game. . The Brewers have won six consecutive games and 16 of 18 against the Cubs at Miller Park.


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