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MIL@STL: Garza tosses six scoreless before early exit

The Brewers spent 149 days in first place this season, grabbing hold of the top spot in the National League Central on April 5 and holding onto their perch atop the division until Aug. 31. Nine losses in 11 games and seven straight defeats will do that to you.

The outlook got even worse on Tuesday evening when Milwaukee learned that a sprained left wrist could sideline All-Star Carlos Gomez for multiple weeks. The outfielder will not resume physical activity until at least Sunday.

"It's never good to lose a good player, a spark plug leadoff guy that can do some damage in the leadoff spot. So it's bad timing," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I'm happy it's not something worse. You're not talking about surgery, so I'm glad about that."

Trailing the Cardinals by two games in the NL Central, the Brewers hope they can rely on a rejuvenated Matt Garza, who owns a 2.13 ERA in his past six starts.

"I'm fine -- healthy, strong and just glad to be able to pitch in again," Garza said.

Garza will face former teammates as he pitches opposite Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks, who has been stellar for Chicago in a limited capacity. Hendricks is 5-1 with a 1.91 ERA in nine starts this season.

Wednesday will mark Garza's 30th career start at Wrigley Field, his most at any NL ballpark. Perhaps the familiarity will only help him improve his 2.74 career ERA when surrounded by brick and ivy.

"You know, it could [help]," Garza said. "I don't really look too much into it. I know the guys on the other side are going to try to hit the ball as hard as I can, just like I'm going to try my best to get them out. That's kind of the way it goes anywhere you pitch."

Cubs: Baez hoping to halt slump
• There's no denying Javier Baez has had some impressive moments since joining Chicago on Aug. 5, but the 21-year-old has been scuffling at the plate as of late. He has hit .095 (4-for-42) with two extra-base hits, one walk and 17 strikeouts since Aug. 24 as the Cubs have gone 6-4 despite his batting woes.

Brewers: Lucroy nearing record for two-baggers
• Thirty-nine of Jonathan Lucroy's Major League-leading 46 doubles this year have come in games when he was playing catcher, placing him only six away from tying Ivan Rodriguez's record of 45 as a backstop set with the Rangers in 1996.

Lucroy is only four doubles away from doubling last season's total of 25 as his career-high 46 two-baggers already outnumber the 42 total he notched in each of the previous two seasons.

Worth noting
• Both Rickie Weeks and Francisco Rodriguez are near career milestones as Weeks needs only two more hits to reach 1,000 while Rodriguez only needs one more save for his fifth season of 40 or more saves and his first since 2008.

• Yovani Gallardo fanned four Cubs on Tuesday night to tie Ben Sheets for Milwaukee's all-time franchise strikeouts record of 1,206.

• Despite hitting only a combined .221 (115-for-521), Cubs third basemen share the Major League lead with the Athletics for most home runs from the hot corner this season at 26.

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