CHICAGO (AP) — Xavier Nady, Jeff Baker and Aramis Ramirez homered Monday as the Chicago Cubs put on a power display for new owner Tom Ricketts and beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-5 in their home opener.
Ricketts, the longtime fan whose family took over the team in October, joined his two brothers and sister to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch.
A crowd of 41,306 turned out at Wrigley Field on a 58-degree afternoon and watched the Cubs rush to an 8-1 lead
"We've been to a handful of pretty cold opening days, but this opening day is going to be the one I'll remember forever," Ricketts said.
Nady, playing his first home game for the Cubs, hit a three-run homer in the third after singles by Marlon Byrd and Derrek Lee. Alfonso Soriano then singled and Baker cleared the left-field bleachers for a 5-0 lead against Doug Davis (0-1).
Ramirez hit a two-run shot off Claudio Vargas in the fourth, giving Ryan Dempster (1-0) a big cushion.
Dempster allowed seven hits and five runs in 6 1-3 innings and ran his career record against the Brewers to 12-3.
Ryan Braun hit a three-run homer and an RBI single for the Brewers.
With Milwaukee trailing 5-0, Corey Hart hit an RBI single in the fourth. A potential rally fizzled when Gregg Zaun, now 0 for 18 this season, bounced into a double play.
Lee hit an RBI single with two outs and Ramirez followed with his second homer of the year.
Braun's two-out homer in the fifth got the Brewers within 8-4. Byrd had an RBI double in the bottom half, set up by shortstop Alcides Escobar's error. Byrd, also making his first appearance with the Cubs at Wrigley, had three hits.
NOTES: Lee left the game after the fourth inning with inflammation in his right thumb. ... Cubs LHP Ted Lilly hopes to make a rehab start Wednesday as he works back from offseason shoulder surgery. His scheduled rehab start last week was scratched because of a sore back, but he threw in the bullpen Monday and said he should be good to go Wednesday. He'd like to pitch for Triple-A Iowa and hopefully rejoin the Cubs later this month. ... Brewers RHP Jeff Suppan threw a bullpen session Sunday and should come off the DL (cervical disc pain) to start Thursday's game, manager Ken Macha said. ... The Cubs entered the game batting a major league low .197 but finished with 13 hits.