MILWAUKEE (AP) - Although the Chicago Cubs' big inning started with a frustrating error in the field, Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was counting on his man on the mound to minimize the damage.
After a pop fly dropped between three Brewers fielders to start the fourth, Randy Wolf gave up a two-run homer to Geovany Soto - and then surrendered a three-run shot to Jeff Baker later in the inning, putting the Brewers well on their way to a 7-4 loss to the Cubs on Friday.
``The pitcher, he's got to be able to still stay focused,' Roenicke said. ``It's not that much different than a pitcher walking the leadoff guy, or the leadoff guy getting a base hit. It's still just a runner on first base. I think any time an error's made, I think the pitchers, too, sometimes need to pick up that fielder.'
Wolf, who has given up four home runs in his two starts this season, agreed that it was his responsibility to limit the damage after Rickie Weeks' error.
``I know how hard these guys work,' Wolf said. ``I wouldn't replace any of the guys out there. It's my job to make pitches. Whether or not there could be an error, it's my job to make the next pitch and get out of the inning and I wasn't able to do that.'
Wolf (0-2) isn't happy with the results of his two outings, but doesn't think he's as far away from success as his record might indicate.
``I know I'm very close, but that's not good enough right now,' Wolf said. ``I need to keep on working hard and get to where I need to be. Even though I feel good, the only thing that matters is the end result, and that's not there right now.'
Baker was happy to open their first road trip of the year win against the division-rival Brewers.
``It was big for us to come on the road trip and set the tone,' Baker said. ``Z had a heck of a game, went six innings strong for us and then turn it over to the bullpen.'
Baker had four hits and drove in four runs, including his first homer of the season.
Carlos Zambrano (1-0) continued his recent string of winning performances against the Brewers at Miller Park. He went six innings, giving up four runs, seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts.
Carlos Marmol put the first two batters on base in the ninth, but rallied to retire the side for his third save of the season.
Prince Fielder hit his first homer of the season for the Brewers, who squandered a chance to climb back to .500 after an ugly 0-4 start.
It was another successful outing against the Brewers for Zambrano, who came into Friday's game 5-0 with a 2.53 ERA on the road against Milwaukee dating to April 2007.
Zambrano also threw a no-hitter at Miller Park in September 2008 - not against the Brewers, but the Astros, in a game that was moved out of Houston because of Hurricane Ike. His opponent was Randy Wolf, now pitching for Milwaukee and starting for the Brewers on Friday.
Wolf went six innings, giving up nine hits, six runs - two of which were earned - with a walk and five strikeouts. Wolf gave up another pair of home runs after getting tagged for two in his first start of the season, a loss at Cincinnati.
Fielder's solo shot off Zambrano in the second inning was his 100th home run at Miller Park.
Notes: The Cubs recalled RHP Jeff Stevens from Triple-A Iowa after placing starting pitchers Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner on the 15-day DL because of arm injuries. RHP Casey Coleman will pitch Sunday, and LHP James Russell will start Tuesday at Houston. ... Zambrano picked Carlos Gomez off first base in the third inning. ... Weeks had a pair of errors for the Brewers, who came into Friday's game with two total errors in their first seven games.
The Associated Press News Service
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