MILWAUKEE (AP) - Aramis Ramirez lingered in the batter's box after a called strike three in the first inning. Zack Greinke had the Cubs where he wanted them from the start.
Ramirez's 16-game hitting streak ended and the Cubs' late rally after Greinke departed fell short in a 3-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
The Cubs were swept again in Miller Park and have lost eight straight in Milwaukee.
``We played some good teams. Atlanta's pretty good. We all know about Milwaukee, especially here, they play extremely well,' Ramirez said. ``There's nothing we can do about it. It's in the past (now).'
Greinke is in the past for the Cubs, too, though they'll have to face another Cy Young winner on Monday when they oppose Tim Lincecum in San Francisco.
In this one, Greinke pitched effectively into the eighth to remain perfect at home and Corey Hart homered for the second time in two days as Milwaukee built a 3-0 lead.
``He's pretty good,' Ramirez said. ``He's got good stuff.'
In the eighth, Greinke left with two outs and a man on second for Francisco Rodriguez, who allowed an RBI double to Darwin Barney that made it 3-1 before Ramirez grounded out to end the inning.
Tyler Colvin homered off Brewers closer John Axford with one out in the ninth.
Axford walked Marlon Byrd before getting Alfonso Soriano to hit a warning track fly ball for the second out, but Casey McGehee misplayed pinch-hitter Reed Johnson's grounder to put two on. McGehee bobbled the next ball by pinch-hitter Geovany Soto, but recovered to tag out Byrd to give Axford his 40th save.
``They're good teams but we've beat them before,' Colvin said. ``It's one of those things where you just have to keep battling like we did today. We never thought we were out of it.'
Cubs manager Mike Quade wasn't around to watch starter Casey Coleman (2-7) battle through seven innings before the Cubs mounted a rally. Quade was ejected by plate umpire Bill Miller after Ramirez struck out in the first.
``Bill didn't like what I said ... so I sat and watched,' Quade said. ``I wanted to make sure (Ramirez) didn't get thrown out. I didn't want to get thrown out myself. Rammy rarely says anything so I just wanted to make sure that Bill wasn't upset with him; to make sure we had him for nine innings.'
Greinke struck out seven, allowing four hits and two walks. The Brewers have won all 12 starts the 2009 AL Cy Young winner has made at Miller Park, and he also was part of a strong defensive effort.
After Byrd's bloop landed in front of center fielder Nyjer Morgan in the fifth, Soriano hit a liner right back to Greinke, who doubled off Byrd for the second out then struck out Koyie Hill to end the inning.
In the sixth, Hart stretched out to grab Starlin Castro's liner to right, preventing what would've been at least a double. That was Castro's best chance to extend his career-best hitting streak, which ended at 11.
NOTES: The Cubs open a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday. Cubs RHP Randy Wells (5-4, 5.53) will take the mound against Lincecum (12-10, 2.46). ... It was Quade's sixth ejection this season.
The Associated Press News Service
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