There isn't much that can top the streaking Sammy Sosa or red-hot Jose Hernandez. Except John Jaha.
"One pitch," Cubs starter Kevin Tapani said. "We were in a 3-3 game in the seventh inning with a chance to win and I left a pitch out there for him."
The Cubs lost despite a pair of two-run shots from Hernandez and Sosa's 16th homer in 18 games. Sosa has 25 home runs this year, tying him for second in the National League with Atlanta's Andres Galarraga.
Mark McGwire of St. Louis leads the majors with 31.
After winning 10 straight at home, the Cubs have lost two in a row at Wrigley Field.
"I had a pretty good day, two homers and a single," Hernandez said. "But we still lost the game anyway. I don't think it counts."
Bronswell Patrick (2-0) got his second career victory after getting the call in the second inning to relieve Scott Karl, who left because of a strained groin. After giving up two runs right away, Patrick settled down, scattering two hits and three runs in 4 2-3 innings. Bob Wickman got the final four outs for his fifth save.
Tapani (8-5) gave up 10 hits and six runs in seven innings for the loss.
"Bronswell has done very well the last two outings," Milwaukee manager Phil Garner said. "He's been magnificent."
The game was tied 3-3 in the seventh when Fernando Vina reached first on a fielder's choice. Tapani struck out Mark Loretta and walked Jeromy Burnitz, bringing up Jaha.
Jaha didn't need to wait for his pitch, taking the first ball he saw deep into center field for the game-winning runs. It was Jaha's fifth home run of the year.
"I've faced him quite a bit. He might have thought I was looking for something off-speed," Jaha said. "He tried to sneak one past me. I was looking for a fastball to drill."
The Cubs rallied in the ninth with Hernandez's second two-run homer his second two-home run game of his career but the Brewers worked themselves out of the jam.
Chicago took an early 2-0 lead, jumping all over Patrick when he came in the game. Jeff Blauser, the first batter he faced, walked, and then Hernandez hit his first home run.
But Milwaukee came back in the third on Bobby Hughes' two-run homer. Milwaukee added another run in the fourth on Valentin's RBI single. The ball was just out of Mark Grace's diving reach, and Mickey Morandini, who was moving to back Grace up, slipped as he tried to switch directions.
The ball rolled by Morandini and Jaha crossed the plate to make it 3-2.
Sosa sent a 2-2 pitch high over the left field fence and ono Waveland Avenue to tie the game at 3-3 in the fourth. The ball hit the street and bounced up to three stories just out of reach of fans watching the game from the rooftop of the apartment building next door.
Sosa has 12 homers this month, two shy of the Cubs' June record set by Ryne Sandberg in 1990.
"I don't really feel like it slipped away," Chicago manager Jim Riggleman said. "They got the three-run homer and before that, we were hanging on.
"We didn't really let it slip away. They just took it."
Notes: Karl, who strained his left groin, is questionable for his next start. ... The Brewers have hit at least one home run in their last 14 games. ... The Cubs reached the one million mark in attendance Wednesday. With the exception of the strike-shortened 1981 season, Chicago has drawn at least one million fans each year since 1968. ... Sandberg will be the guest singer Thursday during the seventh-inning stretch. Chicago Bulls guards Steve Kerr and Ron Harper will take their turns next week.
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