Former closer Ryan Dempster was a winner in his return to the rotation, Aramis Ramirez homered and Alfonso Soriano had two RBIs Thursday as the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3. Moved back to the leadoff spot after hitting second the first two games, Soriano drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth to force in the go-ahead run and added an RBI single in the sixth to snap a season-starting 0-for-11 slump.
Starter-turned-closer Kerry Wood pitched the ninth for his first career save as the Cubs averted an opening three-game sweep. Dempster made his first start since May 4, 2005 _ when he was in his second season with the Cubs, began the year in the rotation and then became the closer. He had 87 saves from 2004 through last season.