Lester latest to add to Cubs' rotation dominance

Lester latest to add to Cubs' rotation dominance

CHICAGO -- The Wrigley Field crowd of 40,310 gave Jon Lester a standing ovation when he was lifted from the game with two outs in the seventh inning against the Brewers, but the Cubs' starter was miffed.

"I don't like to get taken out in the middle of innings," said Lester, who wasn't mad at manager Joe Maddon but upset with himself. "I'm more [ticked] off that I couldn't finish that inning."

The left-hander did enough, picking up the win in the Cubs' 6-1 victory on Wednesday night over the Brewers. Lester is 7-2 with a 2.01 ERA in 12 home starts, all quality starts. The Cubs are 6-0 in his last six starts, the first time that's happened since he joined the team last year.

"You don't want to be the loose link in the chain," Lester said. "You want to keep pressing along where you're not the guy and they go, 'He stinks,' and you're letting the other guys down. I just try to stay in my bubble and go out and pitch well and give my team a chance to win. I don't know if you look at that as being competitive, or not wanting to stink."

Lester on beating Brewers

Lester got a boost when the Cubs scored five runs in the first off Milwaukee's Jimmy Nelson, sparked by Jorge Soler's three-run homer.

"When you get five in the first, it's nice to take a breather, especially after [Tuesday's] long day," Cubs catcher David Ross said. "[Soler's] home run was huge. It didn't create a scenario where we had to grind as much."

Lester did make it tough on himself in the second as the Brewers loaded the bases, but he got Nelson to ground out to end the inning.

"The good start [in the first] helped a lot -- to get those runs quickly [was big], because Jon didn't have his best command tonight," Maddon said.

Lester and the other Cubs starting pitchers have been nearly unstoppable. This month, they're 11-0 with a 1.13 ERA (13 earned runs over 103 1/3 innings), and have given up two or fewer runs in 12 consecutive games. That's the longest single-season streak in Cubs history since at least 1913, according to STATS Inc.

"We're just playing good baseball," Ross said. "It's nice to be healthy. [Soler] being back is a big piece. We don't look at it as a long stretch of wins. We come in every day to compete that day against who we're facing."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.