Milwaukee, WI – Marco Estrada struck out nine over six scoreless innings Tuesday and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs, 5-2, at Miller Park.
Estrada (1-5) allowed just two hits and walked one to earn his first victory in his 16th start of the season. John Axford recorded the final out in the ninth to nail down his 19th save of the season.
"It actually felt like I got my first major league victory," Estrada said. "The guys played amazing. We hit well and it felt finally good to get that win."
Jonathan Lucroy clubbed a two-run double and Corey Hart added an RBI single for the Brewers, who had lost five of seven before taking the opener of this three-game set, 9-5, on Monday.
Chris Rusin (0-1) pitched well in his major league debut, but was tagged with the loss after giving up one run on one hit and two walks with four strikeouts over five frames.
"I felt good, but I couldn't get my secondary stuff over and that put me in a hole," Rusin admitted. "It was a good opportunity for me. I was nervous in the first inning, but I was able to get over it."
Alfonso Soriano knocked in a run and registered two of Chicago's four hits, but the Cubs lost their third straight game.
Rusin stroked a one-out triple into the right-center field gap in his first major league at-bat in the third, but David DeJesus grounded weakly back to the pitcher before Josh Vitters struck out looking to leave Rusin stranded.
"I just closed my eyes and swung," Rusin said of his first hit. "It was pretty exciting."
Milwaukee got its first base runner of the game in the fourth when Rusin drilled Norichika Aoki to start the frame. Ryan Braun walked two batters later before Rusin plunked Aramis Ramirez to load the bases with one out.
The Brewers' first hit then produced their first run, as Hart slapped a single back up the middle that deflected off Rusin's foot and bounced back toward the third-base line, allowing Aoki to score and give Milwaukee a 1-0 lead.
Milwaukee then loaded the bases in the sixth inning as Rickie Weeks, Ramirez and Hart each walked against Chicago reliever Alberto Cabrera.
Cabrera then uncorked a wild pitch to score Weeks before Lucroy lifted a double into the left-field corner to plate a pair for a 4-0 advantage.
Carlos Gomez added an RBI single in the eighth to provide the Brewers with a five-run lead before Milwaukee's bullpen ran into some trouble in the ninth.
Manny Parra served up a one-out double to Vitters before walking Anthony Rizzo. Jim Henderson then entered and Soriano greeted him with an RBI single to right to plate Vitters.
Starlin Castro brought the Cubs within three after his RBI groundout, but Axford induced a groundout from Welington Castillo to close out the victory.
Rusin was a fourth-round pick of the Cubs back in 2009 ... Milwaukee has won nine of its 12 meetings against the Cubs this season ... Before the game, the Cubs transferred pitcher Matt Garza to the 60-day disabled list and optioned pitcher Jeff Beliveau and infielder Adrian Cardenas to Triple-A Iowa.