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WSH@CHC: Dempster fans 10 over 7 2/3 strong frames

Any time Ryan Dempster is on the mound against the Brewers, the Cubs are a happy team.

That's because in 25 career starts against the Brew Crew, the Chicago right-hander is 15-5 with a 2.75 ERA.

He'll get a chance to add to those numbers Wednesday, when the Cubs take on the Brewers at Wrigley Field.

After Paul Maholm was tagged for six runs in just four innings of work Tuesday, a solid outing by Dempster will be especially important to a Cubs bullpen that tossed five innings in a 7-4 loss.

That shouldn't be a problem, though, for Dempster, who on Opening Day against the Nationals went 7 2/3 innings and gave up only two hits. He also recorded 10 strikeouts for the no-decision.

"He was incredible," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of the right-hander after the start. "His command of his fastball, his split, his cutter, his slider, everything was tremendous. I know he was ready to prove everybody wrong about last year and getting the Opening Day start as well, and he did a good job."

Meanwhile, Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo will try to work past his Opening Day struggles against the Cardinals and show why he is the ace of Milwaukee's staff.

Giving up four home runs and unable to get through the fourth inning in the loss, Gallardo has worked with pitching coach Rick Kranitz since the outing to adjust his game tempo, something he struggled with in Spring Training. He even took to the mound Tuesday afternoon at Wrigley to make any necessary adjustments.

"He went through the same thing last year," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Sometimes it is an easy fix. Sometimes it just takes one inning of getting in that rhythm, and then you're fine. I think that's what happened to him last year, when he went through that spell of five, seven games where he was a little bit off. After that, I thought his rhythm was really good the rest of the year."

Brewers: Milwaukee, Greinke table talks
The Brewers and Zack Greinke's agent have suspended talks about a contract extension, Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin said Tuesday.

Melvin made sure to say, though, that the decision to table talks does not mean the sides could not restart a discussion at a later date. However, nothing is scheduled at the moment.

Greinke, 28, will earn $13.5 million in 2012, the final year of a four-year contract he signed with the Royals.

"We're going to let it rest right now," said Melvin.

Cubs: Clevenger getting more playing time
Sveum said Tuesday that backup catcher Steve Clevenger could start as much as twice a week this season, depending on the matchups and schedule.

"One, he's a heck of a catcher," Sveum said of Clevenger, who guided Jeff Samardzija over 8 2/3 innings on Sunday. "He receives well, he calls the game, he throws the ball extremely accurate, and the good thing about having him on the bench [is he's a left-handed bat]. That's a nice asset to have on your bench."

Already playing in two games this year, Clevenger is 2-for-4 with one RBI.

Worth noting
• The Cubs joined the Robert R. McCormick Foundation on Tuesday to announce more than $1 million in grants to non-profit organizations serving people in need in the Chicago area. It marks the eighth consecutive year in which more than $1 million has been donated through Cubs Care, a McCormick Foundation Fund.

• Gallardo is 4-1 with a 2.93 ERA in 10 career starts against the Cubs, including 1-0 with a 2.37 ERA in three starts last season.

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