MILWAUKEE — Ted Lilly threw six shutout innings in his season debut, Carlos Zambrano made his first appearance out of the bullpen in almost eight years and the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 Saturday.
Lilly (1-0) gave up three hits, struck out four and walked two after being activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game. He was out while recovering from shoulder surgery in November.
Zambrano gave up a run in 1 1/3 innings and had a sacrifice fly in a three-run eighth inning.
Doug Davis (0-2) pitched six strong innings for Milwaukee, which has scored just two runs in two games after beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 20-0 Thursday.
To make room for Lilly, Zambrano was moved to the bullpen this week after starting the season 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA in four starts. He was 100-58 as a full-time starter from 2003-09.
He came on to protect a 2-0 lead with two outs and runners on first and third in the seventh, replacing John Grabow. He entered to a standing ovation from the large number of Cubs fans in attendance — and boos from the Brewers fans.
Zambrano threw two fastballs to Rickie Weeks, retiring him on a check-swing grounder to the mound and getting high fives from his teammates as he returned to the Cubs dugout.
But he gave up a run in the bottom of the eighth — after hitting a sacrifice fly in the top half.
The Cubs added to their lead in the eighth, loading the bases with one out. Geovany Soto singled in a run, and that brought up Zambrano, a career .233 hitter with 20 home runs. He smacked a fly to the warning track in right. Ryan Theriot added an RBI single.
Zambrano then gave up a run as Corey Hart singled in Ryan Braun with two outs in the eighth. But Zambrano got Alcides Escobar to ground weakly to second to end the threat.
Milwaukee did not get anyone past second base against Lilly, who is looking to regain his All-Star form of 2009, when he went 12-9 with a 3.10 ERA.
Davis gave up six hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked two.
Davis, signed as a free agent in the offseason, was a disaster in his first three outings with the Brewers, giving up 24 hits and 15 earned runs in 12 innings (11.25 ERA).
Marlon Byrd, who had three hits, had an RBI single in the third for the Cubs, and Aramis Ramirez had one in the sixth to snap an 0 for 21 skid.
To make room for Lilly, Chicago optioned struggling RHP Jeff Samardzija to Triple-A Iowa. The reliever was 0-1 with an 18.90 ERA in four appearances. … In his two minor league rehab outings before Saturday's start, Lilly went 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA, with 13 strikeouts and two walks in 11 innings. … Byrd has 12 of his 14 RBIs this season with two outs. … Brewers RHP Dave Bush, Sunday's starter, is 2-8 with a 5.01 ERA in his career against the Cubs.