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updated: 4/26/2014 11:16 PM

Cubs show more life but still stumble

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  • Chicago Cubs' Welington Castillo, right, gets high-fives from Mike Olt (30) after hitting a two-run home run against the Milwaukee Brewers during the eighth inning of a baseball game on Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Milwaukee.

      Chicago Cubs' Welington Castillo, right, gets high-fives from Mike Olt (30) after hitting a two-run home run against the Milwaukee Brewers during the eighth inning of a baseball game on Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Milwaukee.
    Associated Press

  • Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun (8) makes a leaping catch on a ball hit by Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro during the fourth inning of a baseball game on Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Milwaukee.

      Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun (8) makes a leaping catch on a ball hit by Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro during the fourth inning of a baseball game on Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Milwaukee.
    Associated Press

 
 

MILWAUKEE -- Don't look now, but it's still April and the Cubs are 10½ games out of first place.

A rare off night by lefty Travis Wood put the Cubs in a hole early, and they wound up falling 5-3 to the Brewers at Miller Park. The Cubs dropped to 7-16 while the red-hot Brewers are 18-6.

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"I kind of felt we had a lot more energy in the dugout today," said Cubs manager Rick Renteria. "I know we didn't do very much offensively early.

"All things being equal, I must tell you yesterday our energy level was really low. Even though we were hitless over three or four innings today, there was some life in the dugout."

Wood (1-3, 3.52 ERA) lasted 5⅔ innings, but he ran his pitch count to 107 as the Brewers scored once in the first and twice in the second.

There was one scary moment. Brewers shortstop Jean Segura had to be taken to the hospital after he was hit on the side of the head by the bat of teammate Ryan Braun, who was warming up on the top step of the dugout before the Brewers batted in the first. A plastic surgeon stitched Segura, but the team said he did not suffer a concussion.

"It breaks your heart a little bit," Braun said. "It's never something that's done intentionally. Whenever you're involved in a situation like that, it puts life in perspective and you realize how insignificant baseball is."

Veras to DL:

Reliever Jose Veras went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique. The Cubs recalled Brian Schlitter from Class AAA Iowa. Schlitter was on the opening-day roster.

Veras said that the oblique began bothering him "a couple of days ago, little by little, but it was no big deal."

Veras lost his job as closer in the first few days of the season. He has a 15.88 ERA and has given up 6 hits and 10 walks in 5⅔ innings.

When asked if a couple weeks off might help mentally, he replied: "Yeah, maybe. Who knows? But at the same time, I don't want to be in a position where I can't help the team win ballgames."

One more for Villanueva:

Rick Renteria said Carlos Villanueva will pitch Wednesday at Cincinnati. Villanueva is 1-5 with a 10.42 ERA, and he's given up 40 hits in 19 innings.

Jake Arrieta is poised to come off the DL after battling a shoulder ailment. On Saturday, Arrieta made his final rehab start, a tuneup for Class AA Tennessee. He worked 2 innings. When Arrieta comes off the DL, Villanueva will go back to the bullpen.

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