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Fiers tosses seven-plus to lead Brewers to win over Cubs

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Associated Press
8/30/2012 12:46:20 AM
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CHICAGO -- Mike Fiers tossed 7 1-3 solid innings to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 3-1 win over the Cubs on Wednesday night, their eighth straight victory against Chicago.

Fiers (8-6) held the Cubs to four hits and struck out six, helping Milwaukee beat its division rival for the 13th time in 16 games this season. The Brewers have won eight of their last nine overall and moved within five games of .500 for the first time since July 21.

Fiers sent down 14 straight batters at one point and won his second straight start, but Milwaukee's streak of eight straight games with at least 10 strikeouts came to an end. It was the longest such streak since 1900.

John Axford finished up for his 22nd save in 30 chances.

Jeff Samardzija (8-12) gave up seven hits and three runs -- two earned -- in seven innings for the Cubs. He struck out 10 for his third double-digit strikeout game of the season.

Jean Segura stroked a go-ahead single in the seventh and scored an insurance run when Chicago committed two errors after Segura's steal of second base.

Norichika Aoki and Ryan Braun had two hits apiece for Milwaukee.

Bryan LaHair singled and scored on Darwin Barney's fielder's choice in the second for the Cubs' only run. Chicago has dropped 22 of 28 and has scored two runs or less 11 times in August.

Samardzija has received two runs or fewer of support while on the mound in nine of his last 10 starts, but has lasted at least seven innings in eight of those outings.

The bumbling Cubs fell to 31 games under .500, their worst mark since Sept. 30, 2006, and looked the part during Milwaukee's two-run rally in the seventh that was aided by three errors.

Nyjer Morgan reached on a bunt single and went to second when Samardzija's throw sailed up the right field line. He went to third when Samardzija uncorked a wild pitch, and scored on Segura's solid single to left.

Segura stole second and dashed for third when Welington Castillo's throw bounced past Starlin Castro. Barney backed up the play and threw to third, but Luis Valbuena missed the ball, allowing Segura to score.

Barney was initially charged with the second error on the play, but after the inning the official scorer gave the miscue to Valbuena.

That allowed Barney to extend his streak of consecutive errorless games at second base to 114 games, breaking the National League record of 113 games set by San Diego's David Eckstein in 2010. The major league record is 141 games, established by Detroit's Placido Polanco in 2007.

NOTES: The Cubs named Brandon Hyde the club's director of player development, promoting him from his role as minor league field co-ordinator. Hyde, 38, joined the Cubs during the off-season after spending nine years in the Marlins organization. He will assume the duties of former vice-president of player development Oneri Fleita, who was fired on Aug. 15. ... Former Cubs reliever Scott Maine was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday. Maine was designated for assignment by the Cubs on Monday. ... LaHair entered the game hitting just .164 (12 for 73) since making the NL All-Star team for the first time. LaHair had a streak of reaching base 32 straight games from April 8 to May 15 earlier this season.

Mike Fiers (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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