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Hammel has to battle to earn quality start

CHICAGO -- Jason Hammel didn't lose to the Brewers on Sunday, but couldn't quite get the win.

The right-hander threw his second consecutive quality start, and did not get a decision in the Cubs' 5-3 loss to the Brewers. Hammel was charged with three runs over six innings, a lot considering he entered the game having not given up a single run in his two previous starts against Milwaukee.

He cruised through a nine-pitch first, but admitted he was dealing with a cracked nail on the middle finger of his right hand and was trying to avoid getting a blister.

Video: MIL@CHC: Hammel ties game with sac fly to right

"My feel wasn't there," Hammel said. "Today was a battle, grind it out, and try to keep it close. ... I kept us in it but it could've been a lot better."

This was the first series the Brewers have won this season, but Hammel wasn't surprised.

"They got a couple important pieces back in [Carlos] Gomez and [Aramis] Ramirez," Hammel said. "It's Major League Baseball, and you can't keep a team down too long.

"Even some of the teams struggling the most will find a good game here or there. We've all been through it. I'm pleased we were able to come back and make a game of it. But to get where we want to be, we have to win these games."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.
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