CHICAGO — Darwin Barney hit a long drive to left field in the second inning, and Junior Lake went deep in the third. It looked as if the Chicago Cubs were headed for a big day at the plate.
Then, all of the sudden, it was over.
The Cubs managed just one hit in the final six innings of a 4-3 loss to Kyle Lohse and the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday.
"Guys were trying to get Lohse up in the zone a little bit better so we were able to capitalize a little bit," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "But he did a nice job, a very good pitcher."
Lohse allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings as NL Central-leading Milwaukee won for the fifth time in six games. He retired his last 13 batters in his first win since April 23 against San Diego, ending a streak of three starts without a decision.
"It was a weird early-going for me. I couldn't get command really of much of anything," Lohse said. "But you've been around long enough you figure out how to grind through it and figure out what you need to do physically to get your body in the right spot to make pitches."
Jean Segura had three hits and two RBIs for Milwaukee, which improved to an NL-best 13-5 on the road. Elian Herrera doubled twice in a spot start in right field for Ryan Braun, who got the day off as he makes his way back from a right oblique strain.
Barney hit a two-run homer and Lake had a solo shot for the Cubs, who have lost three straight and 10 of 12. Jeff Samardzija lasted five innings after getting off to a slow start and is winless in his past 15 games dating to last season.
"Obviously I want to win," Samardzija said. "Being a starting pitcher, you have a big say as to how the game turns out. Obviously if my record isn't what I want it to be I need to do a better job."
Milwaukee jumped on Samardzija for two runs in each of the first two innings, taking advantage of several miscues by the Cubs on a soggy, cold day at Wrigley Field.
Segura singled with one out in the first, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Jonathan Lucroy's base hit. Lucroy advanced when Lake mishandled his single to left and scored when Lyle Overbay reached on shortstop Starlin Castro's throwing error.
It was Castro's second error in three games and No. 7 in 40 games this season. The 24-year-old Castro had a career-low 22 errors in 159 games last season.
Segura added a two-run single in the second as Milwaukee opened a 4-0 lead. Welington Castillo had a costly passed ball that allowed the runners to move up to second and third before Segura hit a liner into center field.
Samardzija (0-4) allowed two earned runs and six hits in his shortest start of the season. His ERA increased from 1.45 to 1.62.
"He didn't have his best stuff today but he grinded out through five," Renteria said. "We had a couple plays that maybe extended his innings."
Barney connected in the second and Lake went deep in the third, but that was it for Chicago against Lohse (5-1). The veteran right-hander struck out two and walked one while improving to 6-6 in 21 career starts against the Cubs.
Will Smith tossed a perfect eighth for Milwaukee, and Francisco Rodriguez finished for his major league-best 17th save in 18 chances.