Brewers rely on Lohse versus Cubs

Veteran righty Kyle Lohse makes his third attempt at a 10th victory of the season on Friday night at Wrigley Field, when the Milwaukee Brewers visit the Chicago Cubs for game one of a three-game series.

Lohse improved to 9-8 with a 6-3 defeat of his most recent former team - the St. Louis Cardinals - on Aug. 20 in Milwaukee.

He allowed three runs on six hits in six innings of that game while walking two and striking out four.

He was shelled for 13 hits in 5 1/3 innings of a no-decision at Pittsburgh seven days later, then gave up a single run in six innings of another no- decision, against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, on Sept. 1.

Lohse is 5-4 in 18 career meetings with the Cubs and held them scoreless in five hits over six innings when he last faced them on July 29 in Chicago.

He's opposed by 26-year-old lefty Chris Rusin, who gets a fifth crack at a third victory of his second season in the majors.

The youngster was 2-1 after a 3-0 defeat of the Cardinals on Aug. 9 in St. Louis, where he tossed six innings of scoreless seven-hit ball.

He lost two straight decisions - against Cincinnati and Washington - in his next two starts, then got no-decisions at San Diego and home with Washington on Aug. 25 and Aug. 31.

In one career meeting with the Brewers, he dropped a decision after allowing just one run in five innings and striking out four batters.

On Wednesday in Milwaukee, Khris Davis hit a two-run homer and the Brewers knocked out Francisco Liriano early en route to a 9-3 victory in the finale of a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Aramis Ramirez and Jeff Bianchi each knocked in two runs during the Brewers' 13-hit attack and Wily Peralta (9-14) allowed three runs on nine hits over six quality innings to collect the win and snap the club's five-game slide.

In Chicago, Donnie Murphy hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning, one of four Cubs home runs in a 9-7 win over the Miami Marlins.

Starlin Castro, Dioner Navarro and Ryan Sweeney added solo homers as Chicago avoided being swept in three games by the only team in the National League with a worse record. Navarro had three RBI and scored twice.

The Brewers entered the weekend with a slim 126-121 lead in the all-time series with the Cubs and have won eight of 12 this season. Last time they played, Milwaukee won three of four at Wrigley Field in late July.