MILWAUKEE -- Kameron Loe came charging out of the bullpen in a not-so-ideal sixth-inning situation and pulled out a flawless escape act. Milwaukee had no qualms turning this one over to its bolstered bullpen to shut the door in a one-run game.
Behind a 3-for-4 performance by Ryan Braun, a three-run first frame and Loe's ability to work out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam, the Brewers hung on to beat the Cubs, 3-2, on Tuesday at Miller Park. The victory was Milwaukee's 34th at home this season. After a 5-6 road trip, a win back at Miller Park was a welcome sight.
"Believe me, if we had an answer, we'd bottle it up and take it with us everywhere we went," third baseman Casey McGehee said. "I don't know if it's the atmosphere, just the comfort level, or that we've got a bunch of guys that are real routine-oriented. I don't know what it is, but we definitely seem to play pretty good at home. We need to figure it out and do the same kind of thing on the road. Play that same kind of baseball and see where it gets us. They're all big, now."
Cubs starter Ryan Dempster entered Tuesday's game with all kinds of history in his favor. The right-hander's 15 wins against the Brewers are the most he has against against any club. But Milwaukee didn't allow him to settle in.
The Brewers went after Dempster, as Corey Hart led off with a double and Braun tacked on a broken-bat RBI double to right field to put Milwaukee on the board. McGehee laced a two-run triple to right field to give Milwaukee a lead it wouldn't relinquish. It was McGehee's first triple since Aug. 24, 2010, and his second all-time against the Cubs.
McGehee joked that he reached his "quota for the year," but in all seriousness, he and Loe -- two players who struggled mightily during the first half of the season -- came up huge.
Loe entered in the sixth inning after Chris Narveson issued a walk to load the bases with no outs. The right-hander got Alfonso Soriano to hit into a forceout, when McGehee opted to go for the out at the plate. The third baseman hopped over third base, but never made contact with the bag in a play that could've been critical. McGehee said his top priority was the out at the plate, and he didn't want to risk refocusing his vision to find the bag and then not having time to make a good throw.
McGehee remedied the situation one batter later, when Darwin Barney hit the ball to him along the line and he started the 5-4-3 double play.
"The game was won right there in the sixth with the way Kam came in and picked me up," said Narveson, who improved to 7-6 on the season. "That was huge, and I think that got us momentum and I think the bullpen kind of fed off that for the rest of the game."
Loe's work in the sixth left a favorable impression on manager Ron Roenicke, who thought the sinkerballer matched up well against the Cubs.
"It's really big to see Kameron do that," Roenicke said. "Hopefully, he's right back on track where he was early in the season and through different spots -- where every time we brought him [in] he was one, two, three. ... Hopefully, we see that guy again."
Roenicke's club recorded just four of its eight hits after the first inning, but the bullpen held up its end of the bargain. LaTroy Hawkins allowed one baserunner in the seventh, Francisco Rodriguez made his Miller Park debut in the eighth and John Axford came in and recorded his 25th consecutive save.
Rodriguez, who said he's trying to adjust to his setup role, said he wanted to keep it simple his first time out in front of the home crowd. K-Rod fanned two batters and forced a third to pop out during his perfect inning.
"They're tough," Chicago's Jeff Baker said of Milwaukee's bullpen. "When they get down to the seventh inning, you know you've got your work cut out. They make pitches. They're good, really good."
The Brewers kept the Cubs scoreless after Aramis Ramirez hit his 19th home run of the season in the first inning. Narveson said he didn't think he'd be in any position to get the win after leaving Loe with the bases loaded and no outs. But with the win, Narveson improved to 6-0 all time against the Cubs.
"It's something good to build off of," Loe said. "It's not going to win the World Series for us, but it's a step in the right direction for me."
Audrey Snyder is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.