Lohse aims to start win streak as Brewers host Cubs

Offseason acquisition Kyle Lohse can win consecutive decisions for the first time with his new team on Tuesday night when the Milwaukee Brewers host the Chicago Cubs in the opener of a three-game series at Miller Park.

A 16-game winner last season with the St. Louis Cardinals, Lohse signed as a free agent with the Brewers shortly before this year's schedule began and proceeded to lose six of his initial seven decisions across 11 starts.

He chalked up win No. 2 on June 9 against Philadelphia while scattering four hits and a run with six strikeouts in eight innings.

He's been equally strong while getting no-decisions in two starts since, allowing a combined 11 hits and two earned runs in 12 innings against Cincinnati and Houston.

The Brewers are 3-7 in the last 10 games he's pitched, and Lohse is 4-4 in 16 career starts against the Cubs.

Chicago counters with veteran righty Edwin Jackson, who'll aim for a third win in four starts after opening the season at 1-8.

The 29-year-old won two straight starts on June 9 and 14 when he allowed nine hits and two runs in 13 innings against Pittsburgh and the New York Mets.

He dropped a 4-1 verdict to the St. Louis Cardinals to end the brief winning streak, surrendering four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Jackson faced the Brewers twice in April and dropped 7-4 and 5-1 decisions while Milwaukee reached him for 12 hits and 10 runs in 12 innings.

On Sunday in Chicago, Ryan Sweeney hit a three-run homer and knocked in six runs as the Cubs dominated the Houston Astros, 14-6, in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Anthony Rizzo went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer, four RBI and four runs scored for the Cubs, who had 16 hits. Nate Schierholtz went 3-for-5 with two runs batted in and two scored, while Luis Valbuena and Darwin Barney added an RBI apiece.

Chicago starter Jeff Samardzija (5-7) allowed four runs -- three earned -- on nine hits while striking out five over seven innings.

In Milwaukee, Brian McCann hit a first-inning grand slam and Paul Maholm ended a six-game losing streak versus the Brewers as the Atlanta Braves defeated them, 7-4, to avoid a three-game sweep.

Alfredo Figaro (1-2) absorbed the loss and was charged for six runs on nine hits. He lasted just 3 1/3 frames and walked three while serving up all three homers.

"Not locating his pitches, he was up in the zone with his fastball today and he couldn't command his off speed pitches," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "When he's not throwing his off speed well, they only have one pitch to look for."

Jonathan Lucroy hit a two-run homer and Logan Schafer added a two-run single for the Brewers.

Center fielder Carlos Gomez left with a sprained left shoulder after making a spectacular leaping grab in the fourth, robbing Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons of extra bases. He retreated to the wall in deep center, leaped and made the catch, but landed awkwardly on his shoulder at the base of the wall and did not return.

The Brewers won four of the first five games between the teams so far this season and 13 of 17 between them in 2012.