CHICAGO – Alex Gonzalez hit a three-run homer in Milwaukee's five-run first inning, sending the Brewers to a 7-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
The Brewers had no problem adjusting to the weather on the chilly 40-degree evening. They sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning against Paul Maholm (0-1).
Chris Narveson (1-0) pitched five innings to improve to 7-1 with a 3.52 ERA in 14 career games against Chicago. The left-hander allowed three runs, two earned, and six hits.
Marco Estrada and Kameron Loe combined for three scoreless innings after Narveson left. Jose Veras came in to pitch the ninth, but Geovany Soto hit a leadoff homer and Bryan LaHair walked with one out, leading Brewers manager Ron Roenicke to go to his bullpen again.
Francisco Rodriguez then struck out David DeJesus and got Darwin Barney to ground out for his first save of the season.
Maholm's outing ended after four innings. He allowed six runs and six hits.
Chicago's starters allowed seven earned runs in the first games.
Rickie Weeks led off the game with a walk and moved to third on Carlos Gomez's double. Ryan Braun then hit a sacrifice fly, putting Milwaukee in front and moving the speedy Gomez to third.
Aramis Ramirez followed with a bouncer to first baseman Jeff Baker, who was playing near the infield grass and decided to throw home. Gomez was running on contact and scored to make it 2-0.
After Maholm hit Corey Hart, Gonzalez hit a drive to left for his first homer of the season.
Jonathan Lucroy hit solo drive off Maholm in the third for his first homer and had an RBI single in the seventh.
Maholm is 1-9 in his last 17 starts against the Brewers. The Pirates declined an option on Maholm, who went 6-14 with a 3.66 ERA in 2011, but 0-5 with a 5.75 ERA over his final seven outings. He agreed to a one-year, $4.25 million contract with Chicago in January.
Chicago scored three times in the third to cut Milwaukee's lead to 6-3. Alfonso Soriano had a two-run single and Baker added a sacrifice fly.
The Cubs had a chance for more but second baseman Weeks made a diving stop to rob Soto of a hit and end the inning.
NOTES: Ramirez stole second in the first inning. He had one stolen base for the Cubs in 2011. ... Brewers RF Corey Hart is expected to rest on Wednesday. He had right knee surgery in March.