Cubs visit Brewers aiming to rebound

( - The Chicago Cubs will try to get on track when they open a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday at Miller Park.

The Cubs lost three of four games against the St. Louis Cardinals to begin their road trip and sustained a 5-1 defeat Thursday at Busch Stadium. Jake Arrieta was saddled with the loss for allowing five runs (4 earned) and nine hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked one batter.

"We could have gave a better effort. Now it's back-to-back starts where I haven't been very good," Arrieta said. "I've got some work to do. I need to clean some things up."

Starlin Castro knocked in the only run for the Cubs and both Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler added a pair of hits.

Chicago has lost five of its last six games and will send Jason Hammel to the mound Friday. Hammel is 2-1 with a 3.73 earned run average in five starts and did not record a decision in a 5-3 loss to Milwaukee on Sunday, charged with three runs in six innings.

Hammel, a right-hander, looks to keep his unblemished record against the Brewers intact and is 5-0 with a 2.20 ERA in seven starts.

The Brewers split a four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers to commence a 10-game homestand and dropped a 14-4 decision Thursday.

Mike Fiers fell to 1-4 in the start and was touched for five runs in five innings. Fiers struck out three batters in nine pitches in the fourth inning and had eight K's on the night. Rob Wooten also allowed five runs in relief.

"It doesn't matter how many strikeouts I had," Fiers said. "It's putting our team in a good chance to succeed, and I didn't do that. Giving up five runs in five innings ain't going to cut it, and it shouldn't."

Adam Lind homered and Ryan Braun scored a pair of runs for Milwaukee, which had won four of five games.

The Brewers will also entertain the White Sox on this residency.

Jimmy Nelson draws the start for Milwaukee and is 1-2 with a 4.03 ERA in five starts. Nelson did not record a decision in Sunday's 5-3 win over the Cubs and yielded three runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Nelson hasn't won since his season debut on April 11 versus Pittsburgh and is 0-2 with a 4.71 ERA in five career games (3 starts) against the Cubs.

Milwaukee won two of three meetings with the Cubs to begin the month of May.