Zambrano wins fifth straight decision; Cubs top Brewers

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- On a night Carlos Zambrano added six strikeouts to his National League-leading total, it was a double-play grounder that made the difference as he won his fifth straight decision.

The right-hander allowed one run over six innings Friday night to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Zambrano (8-3) gave up five hits and walked three while increasing his strikeout total to 124.

"Up until the sixth inning, he was throwing strikes," Cubs catcher Michael Barrett said. "He just was relentless in the strike zone."

And very effective.

"I was feeling good today," Zambrano said. "I threw good pitches today."

Especially one in the sixth inning.

Carlos Lee, who came into the game batting .367 against Zambrano in his career, had an RBI single in the sixth to cut Chicago's lead to 3-1. With the bases loaded and no outs, Zambrano got Bill Hall
to ground into a 1-2-3 double play and then struck out Gabe Gross
to end the inning.

"That was a huge play," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "This team can put up some runs in a hurry and that was a big, big double play, especially against a guy like Billy Hall, he's been tough on us for the last few years. That was huge."

Todd Walker homered in the seventh, his fourth, to make it 4-1 and the Cubs added three runs in the eighth.

"We just couldn't scratch a run across," Brewers manager Ned Yost said.

Aramis Ramirez gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the first when his single drove in Juan Pierre, who had doubled for the first of his three hits. It was Ramirez's team-leading 50th RBI this season and the 600th of his career.

Rookie left-hander Zach Jackson (1-2) gave up three runs and four hits, walked four and struck out two in losing his second straight.

After Barrett doubled to lead off the Cubs' sixth and Ramirez and Phil Nevin walked. Jacque Jones' fielder's choice grounder made it 2-0 and chased Jackson. The Cubs pushed across another run against reliever Jose Capellan.

"I've got to get deeper into the game," Jackson said. "If you're excited to get into the fifth inning, there's something wrong. Even into the sixth."

Mike Rivera, who was called up from Triple-A Nashville on Thursday, homered in the ninth off Ryan Dempster to make it 7-2.

Game notes
In the bottom of the fourth, home plate umpire Mike Everitt took a foul ball off his collarbone and stayed in a crouched position for several minutes. Brewers head trainer Roger Caplinger examined Everitt, who stayed in the game. ... Pierre has 32 multi-hit games. ... Friday's attendance was 41,172, the sixth sellout this season for the Brewers.