Weeks, Braun, McGehee lead Brewers past Cubs 8-6

CHICAGO (AP) — Rickie Weeks hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning and Trevor Hoffman protected a late lead Thursday, giving the Milwaukee Brewers an 8-6 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Ryan Braun and Casey McGehee each homered and drove in three runs as the Brewers avoided a three-game sweep.

On an unusual 80-degree April day at Wrigley Field with the wind blowing out at 18 mph, the Brewers overcame home runs by Derrek Lee, Marlon Byrd and Aramis Ramirez.

Hoffman, who had blown his two previous save opportunities, allowed one run in the ninth for his third save this season and record 594th of his career.

Hoffman took over with an 8-5 lead and gave up a one-out double to Ryan Theriot and a two-out double to Chad Tracy. Ramirez flied out to end it.

It was 5-all in the seventh when pinch-hitter Joe Inglett drew a two-out walk from Jeff Samardzija (0-1), stole second and scored on Weeks' single.

Weeks, who underwent season-ending wrist surgery last May 20 and had two disappointing years before that, has at least one hit in every game this season.

After Carlos Villanueva struck out the side in the Chicago seventh, Braun led off the eighth with a homer off Samardzija.

Braun, who also singled three times, has 26 RBIs in 26 games at Wrigley Field. McGehee, who played briefly with the Cubs in 2008 before being one of baseball's top rookies last year, hit a two-run homer off Carlos Zambrano in the third.

Zambrano and Milwaukee starter Jeff Suppan each allowed four runs in five innings. Zambrano labored, throwing 121 pitches, giving up eight hits and walking three. Suppan, activated from the disabled list before the game, yielded six hits and a walk.

Prince Fielder's two-out single put Milwaukee up 4-2 in the fourth. The Cubs tied it in their half when Byrd sent Suppan's 3-0 pitch well over the center-field wall for a two-run homer. Byrd has three homers; he didn't hit his third last season until May 29.

After McGehee's sixth-inning sacrifice fly put Milwaukee ahead 5-4, Chicago tied it on Ramirez's homer off Chris Narveson (1-0).

NOTES: The Brewers sent LHP Mitch Stetter to Triple-A Nashville to make room on the roster for Suppan. ... Lee, who became the 10th player to hit 100 homers at Wrigley, was ejected in the seventh for arguing umpire Angel Campos' strike-three call. ... Chicago LHP Ted Lilly (offseason shoulder surgery) said after throwing 51 pitches in Wednesday's rehab start that he'd like his next outing to be with the Cubs. But manager Lou Piniella said Thursday he wants Lilly to make a longer minor league start before rejoining the rotation in late April. ... Brewers C Gregg Zaun had three hits after starting the season 1 for 22. ... The Cubs have led in each of their first nine games. They last had such a streak in 1945, which also was the last time they went to the World Series.