MILWAUKEE (AP) - Ryan Braun only has five hits in his last 32 at_bats. He's still smiling, though.
Hard not to be happy after hitting a three-run homer Sunday to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs for the team's seventh straight win.
Of Braun's last five hits, four have been longballs.
``It is a lot of fun when you hit home runs,' Braun said. ``That's the way the game of baseball is sometimes.'
Braun was smiling even though he got thrown out of the game by home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi after striking out looking in the eighth inning and tossing his bat in the air. He said the full-count pitch was outside.
``Umpires are human and make mistakes,' he said. ``It was tough for me because those are the type of pitches I am trying not to swing at. But you just have to move on.'
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he knows that Braun is struggling a bit, but is not worried because he is still helping the team win games.
``He's obviously not locked in right now,' Roenicke said. ``There are pitches that he usually hits that he's missing and fouling.'
The seven-game winning streak is the Brewers longest since July 2011. Milwaukee improved to 9-8 after losing eight of 10 to start the year.
``Baseball is a funny game,' Braun said. ``There is no rhyme or reason for the way things happen sometimes. You just have to keep playing hard and good things usually happen.'
Wily Peralta (1-1) pitched 6 2-3 innings for Milwaukee, giving up two runs and five hits. John Axford got the final out of the seventh inning. Tom Gorzelanny pitched a scoreless eighth inning, but walked leadoff hitter Nate Schierholtz in the ninth inning. Jim Henderson replaced him and got three outs for his fourth save in four chances.
For the Cubs, the game again turned on an error. Overall, the Cubs had six errors in the three-game series.
Trailing 2-1 in the fifth, Braun connected after the Brewers received some help putting two runners on. Yuniesky Betancourt hit a line drive to the wall that Cubs center fielder David DeJesus got a glove on but could not hang on to. Then with two outs, Jean Segura hit a grounder that Cubs pitcher Scott Feldman's tried to field but it bounced off his glove away for an error.
Feldman said he should have made the play to get Segura out and he took the blame for the loss.
``It came down to not being able to field a groundball that I've fielded thousands of times since I was a little kid,' he said. ``It's like a Little League play. It's terrible but at the same time, I still have to pitch after that and I had the opportunity to get Braun there. I made a mistake and that's what he hits.'
Feldman (0-3) gave up four runs on three hits in five innings.
Chicago grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Starlin Castro singled with two outs to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest active streak in the major leagues. Anthony Rizzo followed with his sixth home run of the year.
Milwaukee cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth inning without a base hit. Feldman walked the bases full with one out. Alex Gonzalez knocked in a run on a groundout, but Feldman struck out Carlos Gomez to end the inning.
NOTES: Roenicke said he was unsure if rookie pitcher Hiram Burgos would start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday as the team has an off day on Thursday. Burgos allowed one hit in five innings in his major league debut on Saturday in the Brewers 5-1 win over the Cubs. ... After starting the season 2-1, the Cubs have now won only three of the team's last 14 games. ... Gomez's third inning single was the 500th hit of his major league career.
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