Edwin Jackson pitched eight solid innings, David DeJesus drove in three runs and the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-1 on Wednesday night to salvage the finale of the four-game series.
Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer and Starlin Castro belted a solo shot as Chicago closed out a 14-13 July, its first winning calendar month since it went 15-10 last July. Jackson allowed one run and eight hits in his longest outing of the season, staying in the game after a 66-minute rain delay in the sixth inning.
Jonathan Lucroy had two doubles for Milwaukee, driving in Rickie Weeks with a grounder down the first-base line in the eighth. Jeff Bianchi and Caleb Gindl also had two hits apiece.
The Cubs bounced back from a frustrating doubleheader sweep on Tuesday, when they blew late leads in each game. They also dropped the series opener on Monday when the Brewers scored five times in the ninth inning of a 5-0 victory.
Rizzo went deep in the third, driving a 3-1 pitch from Wily Peralta (7-11) over the wall in center for his 15th homer — matching his career high set a year ago. Castro connected an inning later, making it 3-0 with a drive to the bleachers in left.
The Cubs added another run in the fourth when an error on shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt set up DeJesus' RBI single. DeJesus then had a two-run single in the sixth.
The six runs were more than enough for Jackson (7-11), who struck out four and walked none. The right-hander finished July with a 3-1 record and a 1.83 ERA in five starts.
The Brewers got a runner to third in the third, fourth and fifth innings and failed to score each time. Lucroy was thrown out at the plate by left fielder Julio Borbon when he tried to score from second on Gindl's base hit in the fourth.
Peralta allowed four runs, three earned, and five hits in five innings. He was coming off a rough start at Colorado, when he was charged with five earned runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings.
Chicago and Milwaukee, the two worst teams in the NL Central, did not make a trade on a quiet deadline day throughout baseball. The Cubs and Cardinals talked about veteran catcher Dioner Navarro, but he was still in Chicago at the end of the night.
"I think one thing is obvious from today, if you look around the league, is that people hold real tight to their young players," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. "We need to get a lot more of them. That part isn't going to change."
There wasn't much left for Hoyer to trade by the end of the month. The Cubs made three major deals in July, trading away pitchers Scott Feldman and Matt Garza, and slugger Alfonso Soriano. They received an array of prospects in return, strengthening their burgeoning minor league system.
While Chicago (49-58) tries to avoid a fourth consecutive losing season, Hoyer thinks there is hope for the future.
"We never got that close, actually, in the last couple days to doing anything," he said. "The good thing is I feel like we were incredibly productive this month. Made a lot of deals, I feel like we got a lot better as an organization this month."
Milwaukee (46-62) traded reliever Francisco Rodriguez to Baltimore last week for minor league infielder Nick Delmonico, but that was it for July. There was thought to be further interest in its bullpen, namely left-hander Mike Gonzalez.
Manager Ron Roenicke said he had talked to general manager Doug Melvin in the last few days and wasn't surprised when the non-waiver deadline passed without a deal.
"That's fine with me," Roenicke said. "I know with just moving Frankie how much it's changed what I have to do, you know, with the bullpen. It's hard. It's hard when you lose guys."