Jacque Jones hit a game-tying two-run double in the seventh and scored the go-ahead run on an error by reliever Scott Linebrink as the Chicago Cubs rallied to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 on Tuesday night.
The first-place Cubs scored four runs in the seventh to increase their lead over the Brewers in the NL Central to 2 1/2 games. St. Louis started play Tuesday night two games back.
The three-game series is the final meeting this season between the Brewers, who'd spent 125 days in first this season, and the Cubs, who have been tied for first or in sole possession of the lead since Aug. 17.
The slumping Brewers lost for the 11th time in 14 games. And this was a tough one to take.
Milwaukee starter Jeff Suppan, winless in 12 starts since June 22, was staked to a 3-0 lead and was still ahead 3-1 headed into the bottom of the seventh.
But he was removed after hitting leadoff batter Cliff Floyd with a pitch. Mark DeRosa greeted Linebrink by beating out an infield single to short.
Jones then drove a pitch into the alley in right-center field to score both runners and tie the game. After an intentional walk to Daryle Ward and Alfonso Soriano's fly out, Ryan Theriot hit a high bouncer back to the mound. Linebrink jumped for the ball but it went in and out of his glove for an error as Jones raced home with the go-ahead run.
Derrek Lee followed with an RBI single to left finish Linebrink (4-6) and give the Cubs a 5-3 lead.
Chicago starter Rich Hill (8-7), who struck out the first four batters and five of the first six he faced, allowed seven hits and three runs in seven innings, finishing with nine strikeouts.
Bobby Howry pitched a scoreless eighth and Ryan Dempster pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save in 24 chances.
Cubs star Soriano, on the DL since Aug. 6 with a quadriceps injury, came off the disabled list and was back in the Cubs' lineup but went 0-for-4.
Corey Hart had three RBIs for the Brewers.
J.J. Hardy had a leadoff single in the third, went to second on Suppan's sacrifice, to third on another single by Rickie Weeks and scored on Hart's sacrifice fly.
Hardy doubled in the fifth and went to third on a grounder before Weeks was hit by Hill's two-out pitch and stole second. Hart then hit a soft liner to center for a two-run single that gave the Brewers a 3-0 cushion.
Jason Kendall doubled with two outs in the bottom half of the inning and scored when Hill, who earlier in the game had failed to get down a bunt, poked an RBI single to left center.