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Cubs fail again to win 3rd straight, fall 9-5 to Brewers

After throwing 128 pitches last week against Phillies Carlos Zambrano called it night after 110 Wednesday. | David Banks~Getty Images

After throwing 128 pitches last week against the Phillies, Carlos Zambrano called it a night after 110 on Wednesday. | David Banks~Getty Images

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Updated: August 3, 2011 10:10PM

The Cubs keep insisting they can achieve what’s starting to look like their impossible dream.

A charge into contention? A
division title? A deep October run?

Yeah, that, too.

But we’re talking about winning three games in a row.

‘‘Let’s do it,’’ manager Mike Quade said a few hours before their seventh attempt at
The Streak went up in smoke like so many cars in the Vancouver night.

With Carlos Zambrano (5-4) struggling in his first start since his highest pitch load in three years, the Milwaukee Brewers foiled the Cubs’ hopes with a 9-5 victory Wednesday night at Wrigley Field.

Much of the crowd was a no-show by the time the game was delayed 1 hour 42 minutes by rain. And by the time the Brewers were tacking on runs in the eighth and ninth, chants of ‘‘Let’s go, Brewe

rs!’’ were breaking out in the soggy , sparsely populated confines.

Five days after he threw 128 pitches in Philadelphia, Zambr ano got through six innings (110
pitches), but he didn’t look particularly sharp, giving up six doubles and five runs.

‘‘I felt good,’’ Zambrano said. ‘‘I gave up five runs, and that’s all I can say. My fault. . . . I think I tried to be too perfect today.

‘‘The last time in Philly, we won two in a row, and it was up to me to get the third game in a row. And today, too. And I couldn’t do it. At the same time, I have to keep my head up and keep pitching.’’

Said Quade: ‘‘I asked a lot from him that day [in Philadelphia]. It wasn’t vintage Z [on Wednesday]. A couple balls were hit hard, absolutely, but I thought he threw the ball great.’’

Despite home runs by Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson, the Cubs dropped behind the Minnesota Twins again with the second-worst record in the majors. They’re now seven games behind the fourth-place Pittsburgh Pirates.

And yet they continue to talk about making a run and even climbing back into contention.

Even last week, as their longest losing streak of the year reached eight games, first baseman Carlos Pena said, ‘‘I’m thinking about the possibility of all of this turning around and us being in the playoffs. . . . I think the stage is set for something great to happen.’’

And Wednesday, from Alfonso Soriano, who returned from the disabled list and struck out on three pitches: ‘‘There’s a lot of games left, and I think we have a very good team with very good talent. So I think we’ve got a very good chance [of making a run].’’

Maybe even a run at three in
a row.

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