Milwaukee Brewers defeat Chicago Cubs, 8-6

CHICAGO (AP) The wind, the sun, the Chicago Cubs and his own Milwaukee teammates made Trevor Hoffman work extra hard for career save No. 594.

Hoffman, who blew his last two chances, entered in the ninth inning Thursday with a three-run lead. Two flyballs eluded the Brewers for doubles, letting in a run, before baseball's career saves leader ended things by retiring Aramis Ramirez on a drive to deep center.

"Guys are playing their butts off out there. Things happen," ...

Chicago — This wasn't exactly the team's stopper out there.

Facing a sweep in the third series of the season against their I-94 rivals, the Chicago Cubs, the Milwaukee Brewers gave the ball to a lightning rod, a man who over the last two years has drawn more ire from his team's fans than anyone else on the roster.

Jeff Suppan made his first start of the season Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

And it wasn't horrible.

The veteran right-hander kept the Brewers...

Chicago — The ivy is still brown on the Wrigley Field wall, and you want me to tell you that Jeff Suppan is going to be fine this season?

We'll get to that right after we nail down that the 80-degree weather on a mid-April Thursday afternoon was conclusively linked to global warming.

In the meantime, it's sufficient to know that Suppan was sort of OK enough to help get the Milwaukee Brewers the heck out of this wind-blown, sun-dried dump - I'm sorry, "historically si...

The new and improved Big Z looks a lot like the same old model in the early going this season.

Well, maybe except for that camouflage sleeveless T he wore to his Thursday postgame media session, showing off his better shape (if not the abs).

In three starts, Carlos Zambrano had a 1 1/3-inning disaster in Atlanta, became the first Cubs starter to pitch seven innings to beat Cincinnati and then cramped up on a warm, humid afternoon when he labored through 121 pitches t...

Carlos Marmol was asked after Wednesday's dominant finish whether he could solve this whole problem with the Cubs bullpen by becoming his own setup man.

After a smile and a ''no comment,'' he said he's willing to pitch two innings whenever manager Lou Piniella wants him to.

By the end of Thursday's 8-6 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field, Piniella couldn't have been blamed for wanting four or five out of him.

On a day the wind blew out, Big Z cramped up...