Rapid Reaction: Brewers 5, Cubs 2

MILWAUKEE -- A quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 5-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night at Miller Park.

How it happened: Starlin Castro led the game off with a home run, his eighth of the season, continuing his recent power surge. But the Cubs couldn't hold an early 2-0 lead as they were once again failed by their defense. A day after committing four errors, the Cubs had a dreadful fifth inning, as two Darwin Barney errors led to three runs (two of them unearned) giving the Brewers a 4-2 lead. The Cubs offense failed to fight back.

What it means: The Cubs’ continued troubles on defense may mean that the next general manager’s top priority should be improving in that area rather than on starting pitching. There's no doubt the Cubs pitching staff needs a boost, but the defense may be easier (and cheaper) to improve, especially considering the upcoming free-agent market is rather thin on pitchers.

Outside the box: Castro's home run was the first lead-off homer of his career. Aramis Ramirez's first-inning double extended his hitting streak to 15 games.

What’s next: Ryan Dempster (10-9, 4.60) takes the mound against the Brewers who counter with Yovani Gallardo (14-8, 3.51) in the second game of a weekend series at Miller Park on Saturday at 6:10 p.m.