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Cubs Try To Snap Seven-Game Losing Streak Against Brewers

(Sports Network) - Twenty-two runs in two games has the Milwaukee Brewers in position to sweep a three-game series at Chicago's Wrigley Field for the first time in over eight years. The team will try to do just that and extend the Cubs' losing streak to eight games in today's finale.

After notching 18 runs and 26 hits in Monday's opener, the Brewers pounded out another 11 hits in last night's 4-3 victory, getting a pair of RBI out of Casey McGehee and another three hits from Ryan Braun, who along with Prince Fielder had five RBI in Monday's victory.

Milwaukee has totaled 37 hits over its two-game win streak that directly follows a five-game slide. The Brewers had just eight runs and 31 hits total over that skid, but have rebounded offensively and can record their first sweep in the Windy City since May 9-12, 2002.

Brewers starter Chris Narveson did enough to win Tuesday's contest, holding the Cubs to a run and six hits over 5 2/3 innings. John Axford allowed Starlin Castro to drive in a run in the ninth inning, but held on for his 16th save.

"I was able to execute all my pitches," said Narveson. "My fastball and my breaking ball were working well and I was able to keep them off balance. I was able to get in when I needed to and stranded the guys when I needed to."

Milwaukee played without Carlos Gomez, who suffered a concussion when he was hit on the head by a pitch in Monday's opener.

Thomas Diamond struck out 10 batters in his major league debut for Chicago, but still suffered the loss after giving up three runs, seven hits and three walks over six innings.

"The nervousness was definitely there first hitter or two, but then it kind of all went away and then what I do naturally just took over," said Diamond. "I just wish it was a little bit better, wish I'd have thrown a few more strikes and walked a few less people."

Chicago's seven-game losing streak is its longest since dropping eight in a row from May 17-25, 2009. The Cubs will try to break that skid today behind Ryan Dempster, who hasn't won since July 15.

Dempster is 0-1 with a 6.75 earned run average over his last three outings and is coming off a loss to Colorado on Friday. He allowed five runs on seven hits and five walks over a season-low four innings of a 17-2 pounding, falling to 8-8 with a 3.92 ERA on the season.

The 33-year-old righty is 2-0 with a 3.72 ERA in three starts versus the Brewers this year.

Milwaukee counters with Manny Parra, who is 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA over his last four starts. He lost in Houston on Friday, yielding four runs on four hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings. Still, he has shown improvement over his last two starts since allowing 10 runs over 5 1/3 innings of a loss in Atlanta on July 18.

Parra, a 27-year-old southpaw, is 3-8 with a 5.42 ERA this season and 0-1 with a 5.84 ERA in his career versus the Cubs.

Chicago has won six of 11 versus Milwaukee this year and took two of three from the Brewers at Wrigley Field from April 12-15.