It took the Milwaukee Brewers' bats a while to warm up on a cool Monday night at Wrigley Field.

Eight innings in fact.

But warm up they eventually did getting to Chicago Cubs reliever Pedro Strop for a walk and three hits and Blake Parker for a double in the decisive ninth as the Brewers pulled out a hard-fought 5-0 victory to open a four-game series with their National League Central rival.

Throw in yet another quality start by Kyle Lohse — his team-leading 14th — and it was a great night all around as Milwaukee found a way to win despite Chicago starter Jeff Samardzija pitching as well as ever in his seven-inning stint.

"That was a good ball game" said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke whose team posted its ninth shutout of the season.

"Samardzija pitched well. Kyle pitched really well. I didn't know if we were going to score. The guys did a nice job certainly in the inning that we did score. The pitching was outstanding today. The offense ... Samardzija was good. When he's on he's really good."

How on was Samardzija?

Enough that the Brewers managed just one baserunner in the first four innings against him — courtesy of a Darwin Barney error — before Caleb Gindl finally got to the right-hander for a single to center with two outs in the fifth.

Lohse singled in the sixth and Gindl doubled in the seventh but that and a walk were the extent of the damage done against the new ace of the Cubs' staff with the recent trade of Matt Garza to Texas.

"He's tough" Carlos Gomez said. "When he came up he used to throw really hard like 98 but pretty much just straight. He learned to pitch now. He throws with sink; he'll throw the split in any count.

"Before he'd throw 98 but he's consistent 94 96 when he wants to and his command low in the zone makes him tough."

While Lohse doesn't feature the nasty stuff Samardzija does he's every bit the tactician on the mound. He displayed that again in this one allowing multiple baserunners in the first third fourth and sixth innings only to extricate himself from the jams each time.

At 106 pitches after that sixth Lohse saw his night end having allowed five hits and three walks to go with six strikeouts.

Over his last 12 turns Lohse has been borderline dominant even with next to no run support going 6-1 with a 2.29 ERA and 10 quality starts.