Series: Game 1 of 4

Chi Cubs leads 1-0 (as of 7/15)

Game 1: Thursday, July 15
Chi Cubs4
Game 2: Friday, July 16
in 10
Chi Cubs2
Game 3: Saturday, July 17
Chi Cubs5
Game 4: Sunday, July 18
Chi Cubs2

Brewers 1

(45-42, 20-22 away)

Cubs 4

(48-40, 26-16 home)

8:05 PM ET, July 15, 2004

Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

123456789 R H E
MIL 100000000 1 5 1
CHC 01000300 - 4 9 1

W: G. Rusch (5-1)

L: D. Davis (9-7)

S: L. Hawkins (12)

Three-run sixth beats Brewers

CHICAGO (AP) -- Mark Prior's dejected look said it all.

Less than two innings into just his eighth start of the season, he was out of the game and most likely out of the Chicago Cubs' rotation again.

"I don't know what I got going right now," Prior said Thursday night after leaving in the second inning with discomfort in his right pitching elbow.

The Cubs rallied for a 4-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers, but Prior's status put a damper on any good feelings over the win.

"You can't get any more worried than sick to your stomach. You just hope it's nothing," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.

Prior is scheduled for an MRI on Friday, the latest setback for him and the team he pitches for. Prior missed the first two months this season with a sore right Achilles tendon and tender elbow.

"It's something I've been dealing with off and on since it happened in spring training," Prior said.

"Hopefully we can get some answers this time on what it really is. To be honest, I can't tell you where I'm at or where I'm going to be. ... Trust me, I want to know what is going on more than anybody. Going in start after start not knowing what I was going to have -- being up and being down -- it's been very frustrating."

Derrek Lee homered in the second and hit an RBI double in a three-run sixth for the Cubs, who've been battling injuries all season.

"You're just worried for him. You don't want it to be serious," Lee said. "You hope it's something he can get over quick."

The Cubs were hoping Prior and Kerry Wood, who was activated Sunday from the DL, would lead them to a strong second half after they fell seven behind St. Louis in the NL Central.

Prior, Wood, Sammy Sosa, Alex Gonzalez, Todd Hollandsworth, Kent Mercker, Mike Remlinger, Mark Grudzielanek, Todd Wellemeyer and Joe Borowski have all been sidelined at some point this season. Third baseman Aramis Ramirez has been out since July 2 with a groin strain.

And Prior was pitching Thursday night on nine days' rest.

"I don't think nine days have anything to do with it," Cubs trainer Dave Groeschner said. "It's just alarming because it's Mark Prior, it's his elbow and we are very concerned because of that."

The Cubs, who scored just two runs while being swept in a three-game series a week ago at Miller Park, tied Thursday's game on Lee's 13th homer off Doug Davis (9-7).

Chicago's three-run sixth started when Milwaukee shortstop Craig Counsell fumbled Jose Macias' grounder for an error.

"The ball came up on him a little bit and he just couldn't find a handle on it. That's one little rough inning," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said.

Corey Patterson singled and Macias slid under Wes Helms' glove at third before scoring on a wild pitch. When Scott Podsednik missed a diving catch of Moises Alou's sinking liner, it went for an RBI triple. Lee then greeted reliever Jeff Bennett with a double to make it 4-1.

Podsednik doubled leading off the game, moved over on a fly and scored on Geoff Jenkins' sacrifice fly.

Glendon Rusch (5-1), 1-12 with the Brewers last season, allowed just three hits in 5 1-3 scoreless innings after replacing Prior.

"Glendon came in and shut us right down," Yost said, adding that Rusch was a better pitcher a year ago than his record showed.

"I knew he was going to bounce back. He's a quality individual and has good stuff."

LaTroy Hawkins pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 16 chances.

The Brewers loaded the bases in the eighth on two walks and pinch-hitter Brooks Kieschnick's infield single off Kyle Farnsworth before Bill Hall struck out.

With one out in the second, Prior got Milwaukee's Chad Moeller to hit a grounder to Lee at first. Prior started off the mound to go to first before Lee made the play unassisted.

Groeschner and pitching coach Larry Rothschild quickly went to the mound and consulted with Prior before Rusch was called in from the bullpen.

Prior threw 30 pitches in a long first inning when he first started feeling the discomfort and then six more in the second before leaving.

The area of concern has been on the posterior side of his elbow.

"I knew after a couple of pitches to Chad that things weren't right," Prior said. "I just wasn't going to put the team in any kind of jeopardy with me limping through that inning or put myself in jeopardy."

Prior was 18-6 last season, including 10-1 during the Cubs' run to the playoffs. He was 2-2 this season before Thursday night's start.

Game notes

The victory was Chicago's first over Milwaukee in four games. ... Patterson had three hits. ... Counsell reached on catcher's interference for a club-record fourth time this season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press