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Outfielder Jim Edmonds watches as another Cubs home run sails into the Miller Park bleachers.

Brewers Notebook: The tables have turned

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Growing pains: More than anything, defense was Alcides Escobar's calling card as one of the organization's top prospects.

Escobar, though, is still adjusting to the majors. He's made five of the Brewers' 13 errors this season. Those numbers aren't surprising to Macha.

"He's done exactly what we probably expected," Macha said. "He's made some good plays and made some easy errors."

"That's what you're going get here for a while. He's had a couple bad throws where he's gotten the ball and he looks at the runner instead of concentrating on getting his feet under him and making the throw."

Much like his predecessor, J.J. Hardy and double-play partner Rickie Weeks did before him, Escobar is taking extra work on his fielding, under the watchful eye of bench coach Willie Randolph.

"I feel better every day," Escobar said.

Escobar is faring alright at the plate, hitting .274 (17-for-62) and has a .318 on-base percentage.

For the lead: With 26 hits, Ryan Braun is just two behind Atlanta's Martin Prado for the National League lead.

Braun became just the third Brewers player to lead the league in hits when he finished with 203 last season. He's attempting to become the first National League player since Tony Gwynn in '94 and '95 to repeat.

Macha wouldn't be surprised if it happened.

"If he stays healthy, he's got the ability to be very, very, very special," Macha said.

Southpaw struggles: The Brewers are not faring well against left-handers, hitting just .240 this season. Left-handed batters postinga measly .173 average. Even Prince Fielder, a left-hander himself who went .292 against lefties last season, is struggling; he's hitting just .160 against southpaws this season.

Quick hits: Bush's 10 home runs are the most allowed by a National League pitcher ... Kosuke Fukudome has a .349 batting average with six homers and 25 RBI against the Brewers ... The Cubs swept the Brewers for the first time since Aug. 23-25, 2004 at Wrigley Field and the first time in Milwaukee since September 5-7, 2003 ... Ryan Dempster is 13-3 with a 2.80 ERA in 41 career appearances (19 starts) against Milwaukee ...The Brewers are 14-for-15 in stolen base attempts this season and have been successful in each of their last 11 attempts.... The Pirates have three players / coaches with Wisconsin ties: reliever Jack Taschner is a Milwaukee native and played at UW-Oshkosh, catcher Jason Jaramillo was born in Racine and lives in Franksville and bench coach Gary Varshoa was born in Marshfield, lives in Chili and played at UW-Oshkosh ... The Pirates have lost 21 straight games at Miller Park.

On the farm: Down at Class AAA Nashville, Kameron Loe threw eight scoreless innings and struck out four Thursday against Oklahoma City. He's got a 3.70 ERA on the year ... LHP Chris Capuano was reinstated from the Class AAA disabled list and will report to Class A Brevard County. Caupano, attempting a comeback from his second "Tommy John" surgery, will start Tuesday against Clearwater.

He said it: "They were hitting Prince last year, and now they're hitting Rickie. Those are the wrong guys to be hitting, I'll say that. I would pick somebody else out."-- Macha, on Brewers hitters being plunked a league-leading 14 times.

This week: The Pirates are in town for three games at Miller Park, beginning Monday night when Yovani Gallardo faces off against lefty Zach Duke. Randy Wolf (2-1, 3.70) gets the nod on Tuesday (Pittsburgh starter, TBA) with Narveson set to face Paul Maholm (1-2, 4.74 on Wednesday). After that, it's off to the West Coast to open a three-city road trip with four games in San Diego.

Attendance (through nine home dates): Total -- 348,188; Average -- 38,688; Sellouts -- 3.

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