CHICAGO – Darwin Barney's defense has been one of the few bright spots in another lost season for the Chicago Cubs.
Barney flawlessly handled four chances in the field — two put-outs and two assists — and completed his 113th consecutive errorless game. That tied the National League single-season record set by San Diego's David Eckstein in 2010.
"I take a lot of pride in defense," Barney said. "It's one of those things that when I was younger, I felt defense was my weakness, so I put a lot of effort into working on it."
Barney's feat came in another Cubs loss after Milwaukee's Jeff Bianchi hit a three-run shot for his first big league homer, leading the Brewers to a 4-1 win over Chicago on Tuesday night.
Bianchi went deep off Travis Wood (4-11) on a 3-0 count with two outs in the second for Milwaukee, which has won seven of eight overall and has beaten the Cubs seven straight times.
"It was 3-0," Wood said. "I should have known better, the pitcher was on deck. But I made the pitch I did, he put a good swing on it and hit it out."
Yovani Gallardo (14-8) won his seventh straight start, holding Chicago to one run and three hits over seven innings and striking out nine. He's held the Cubs to a single run in each of his last four appearances at Wrigley Field.
Wood lost for the eighth time in nine starts despite limiting Milwaukee to five hits and three runs over seven innings.
"Not enough, apparently," Wood said. "We were solid defensively, we just came up short on the hitting side."
The Cubs have lost 21 of their last 27 games.
Wood provided the only offense on the night for Chicago, going deep off Gallardo in the third inning for this third career home run.
"Obviously he just threw the 3-0 pitch trying to get back in the count was kind of the difference in the ballgame," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "(Wood) pitched great, seven innings."
Barney hasn't committed an error since April 17 at Miami, his only miscue of the season. The single-season record for consecutive errorless games by a second baseman is 141, set by Detroit's Placido Polanco in 2007.
Barney is in just his second season at the keystone after playing shortstop in the minor leagues.
"I think it's more instinctual than last year," Barney said. "Last year was transitional. . We came in with a plan to fix those things, the things I had trouble with, and secure that up."
Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro went 1 for 4, singling in his first at-bat and striking out to end the game. Before the game, Chicago announced that it had agreed to a seven-year extension with Castro, including an option for an eighth year that would keep Castro in a Cubs uniform past his 30th birthday.
Milwaukee has beaten Chicago in 12 of their last 15 meetings.
Bianchi was with the Cubs for about a month during the offseason after being claimed off waivers from the Kansas City Royals in December. Chicago also waived him in January to free up a roster spot, and he was claimed by the Brewers.
Since his first homer came as a visiting player at Wrigley, he ended up with the souvenir after a bleacher bum threw the ball back on the field.
"I was rounding the bases and had my back turned," Bianchi said. "I can't remember who said it, but someone said they threw the ball back. It will be nice to have."
Wood settled down after Bianchi's homer and allowed just two baserunners over his final five innings. Wood has allowed three runs or fewer in five of his last six starts — all losses.
"It's a moot point when you still lose the ballgame," Wood said.
After Alfonso Soriano's third-inning walk, Gallardo retired the last 13 Cubs he faced, striking out five.
NOTES: Before the game, the Cubs activated RHP Blake Parker from the 60-day DL. Parker had been out since June 6 with a right elbow stress reaction. ... LHP Alex Hinshaw was designated for assignment one night after he allowed five runs, including three consecutive homers, without retiring a batter during Milwaukee's nine-run ninth. ... Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was pleased to hear the Baltimore Orioles signed LHP Randy Wolf, who Milwaukee released Aug. 22. "Hopefully he can go in there and start off well, and they like him enough to where he'll be part of what they do," Roenicke said. . The Cubs' beleaguered bullpen entered the game with a 6.09 ERA in August.