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Three-run sixth beats Brewers

CHICAGO (AP) -- Mark Prior's dejected look said it all.

Less than two innings into just his eighth start of the season,
he was out of the game and most likely out of the Chicago Cubs'
rotation again.

"I don't know what I got going right now," Prior said Thursday
night after leaving in the second inning with discomfort in his
right pitching elbow.

The Cubs rallied for a 4-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers, but
Prior's status put a damper on any good feelings over the win.

"You can't get any more worried than sick to your stomach. You
just hope it's nothing," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.

Prior is scheduled for an MRI on Friday, the latest setback for
him and the team he pitches for. Prior missed the first two months
this season with a sore right Achilles tendon and tender elbow.

"It's something I've been dealing with off and on since it
happened in spring training," Prior said.

"Hopefully we can get some answers this time on what it really
is. To be honest, I can't tell you where I'm at or where I'm going
to be. ... Trust me, I want to know what is going on more than
anybody. Going in start after start not knowing what I was going to
have -- being up and being down -- it's been very frustrating."

Derrek Lee homered in the second and hit an RBI double in a
three-run sixth for the Cubs, who've been battling injuries all
season.

"You're just worried for him. You don't want it to be
serious," Lee said. "You hope it's something he can get over
quick."

The Cubs were hoping Prior and Kerry Wood, who was activated
Sunday from the DL, would lead them to a strong second half after
they fell seven behind St. Louis in the NL Central.

Prior, Wood, Sammy Sosa, Alex Gonzalez, Todd Hollandsworth, Kent
Mercker, Mike Remlinger, Mark Grudzielanek, Todd Wellemeyer and Joe
Borowski have all been sidelined at some point this season. Third
baseman Aramis Ramirez has been out since July 2 with a groin
strain.

And Prior was pitching Thursday night on nine days' rest.

"I don't think nine days have anything to do with it," Cubs
trainer Dave Groeschner said. "It's just alarming because it's
Mark Prior, it's his elbow and we are very concerned because of
that."

The Cubs, who scored just two runs while being swept in a
three-game series a week ago at Miller Park, tied Thursday's game
on Lee's 13th homer off Doug Davis (9-7).

Chicago's three-run sixth started when Milwaukee shortstop Craig
Counsell fumbled Jose Macias' grounder for an error.

"The ball came up on him a little bit and he just couldn't find
a handle on it. That's one little rough inning," Milwaukee manager
Ned Yost said.

Corey Patterson singled and Macias slid under Wes Helms' glove
at third before scoring on a wild pitch. When Scott Podsednik
missed a diving catch of Moises Alou's sinking liner, it went for
an RBI triple. Lee then greeted reliever Jeff Bennett with a double
to make it 4-1.

Podsednik doubled leading off the game, moved over on a fly and
scored on Geoff Jenkins' sacrifice fly.

Glendon Rusch (5-1), 1-12 with the Brewers last season, allowed
just three hits in 5 1-3 scoreless innings after replacing Prior.

"Glendon came in and shut us right down," Yost said, adding
that Rusch was a better pitcher a year ago than his record showed.

"I knew he was going to bounce back. He's a quality individual
and has good stuff."

LaTroy Hawkins pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 16
chances.

The Brewers loaded the bases in the eighth on two walks and
pinch-hitter Brooks Kieschnick's infield single off Kyle Farnsworth
before Bill Hall struck out.

With one out in the second, Prior got Milwaukee's Chad Moeller
to hit a grounder to Lee at first. Prior started off the mound to
go to first before Lee made the play unassisted.

Groeschner and pitching coach Larry Rothschild quickly went to
the mound and consulted with Prior before Rusch was called in from
the bullpen.

Prior threw 30 pitches in a long first inning when he first
started feeling the discomfort and then six more in the second
before leaving.

The area of concern has been on the posterior side of his elbow.

"I knew after a couple of pitches to Chad that things weren't
right," Prior said. "I just wasn't going to put the team in any
kind of jeopardy with me limping through that inning or put myself
in jeopardy."

Prior was 18-6 last season, including 10-1 during the Cubs' run
to the playoffs. He was 2-2 this season before Thursday night's
start.

Game notes
The victory was Chicago's first over Milwaukee in four
games. ... Patterson had three hits. ... Counsell reached on
catcher's interference for a club-record fourth time this season.