Milwaukee, WI – Dioner Navarro swatted a three-run homer to support seven strong innings from Matt Garza, and the Chicago Cubs posted a 7-2 decision over the Milwaukee Brewers to earn their first series win in Miller Park in 2 1/2 seasons.
Garza (3-1) struck out a season-best 10 batters and limited Milwaukee to one run while scattering eight hits. He made an impact at the plate as well, going 2-for-3 with a run scored to help Chicago earn its second straight victory to cap the three-game set.
Starlin Castro also had two hits and scored once for the Cubs, who last took a series in Milwaukee from Sept. 10-12, 2010.
"It's nice to take two out of three after not having much luck in this ballpark lately," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum.
Brewers starter Wily Peralta (5-9) surrendered all seven runs in his five- inning stint, though just three were earned due to a pair of errors that led to Chicago scoring four times in the top of the third.
"He didn't pitch as bad as his numbers were," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Peralta. "We played poorly behind him."
Juan Francisco homered for a third straight game in the loss, with Logan Schafer driving in Milwaukee's other run with a sixth-inning double.
Chicago spotted Garza an early advantage by putting up a pair of runs on three hits in the top of the second inning. Ryan Sweeney opened the frame with a single before later coming around on Brian Bogusevic's double down the left- field line, with Bogusevic crossing the plate on Darwin Barney's two-out base hit off Peralta's glove.
The Cubs broke the game open an inning later, with the lead increasing to 3-0 when Milwaukee left fielder Caleb Gindl dropped a fly ball off the bat of Sweeney that scored Castro, who had reached on a leadoff single. A missed catch error by first baseman Francisco shortly afterward put two men on for Navarro, who deposited Peralta's first-pitch slider into the right-field seats to give his team a six-run cushion.
While the Brewers struggled in the pitching and defense departments, Garza was dominant early on. The right-hander racked up eight strikeouts over the first four innings and didn't give up a hit until Aramis Ramirez singled with one out in the bottom of the fourth.
"His last three starts have been as good as anybody," said Sveum. "That's good to have."
Garza helped his cause with the bat as well, collecting his second hit of the day to begin the fourth and eventually scoring Chicago's seventh run on a Nate Schierholtz sacrifice fly that followed a walk and a groundout.
Milwaukee finally broke through against Garza in the sixth, when Jean Segura and Ramirez delivered back-to-back singles in front of Schafer's RBI double with two outs.
Francisco belted his third homer of the series, a solo shot off Blake Parker in the eighth, to account for the final margin.
Chicago had been 3-19 in its last 22 visits to Milller Park and stopped a nine-game losing streak there with Wednesday's 5-4 decision ... The Brewers commemorated the 20th anniversary of the inaugural live sausage mascot race, which began at County Stadium on June 27, 1993, by giving away free coffee and breakfast sandwiches to the first 250 fans in attendance ... Milwaukee outfielder Sean Halton, called up from Triple-A Nashville prior to the game, singled in his first major league at-bat as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning ... Segura's single in the sixth extended his hitting streak to 10 games ... Chicago's Alfonso Soriano, batting just .191 in June, was out of the lineup for a second straight day, while Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez missed a third consecutive game with a sprained left shoulder.