The Milwaukee Brewers took the field for last night’s game looking for a win to give them the series victory on the road at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. Things got off to a promising start as the Brewers jumped out to a 3-0 lead against Chicago starter Brett Anderson in the top of the first inning thanks to Eric Thames (double), Ryan Braun (single), Travis Shaw (RBI double), Domingo Santana (RBI groundout), and Manny Pina (RBI double).
The Brewers would add two more runs in the top of the 3rd on another RBI double by Shaw and a sacrifice fly by Santana to give Milwaukee a 5-0 lead. Starter Jimmy Nelson had cruised through the first two innings scoreless, but allowed a two-run homer to Kyle Schwarber in the bottom of the third to bring the Cubs within 5-2.
The Brewers added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings on solo homers by Orlando Arcia and The Mayor of Ding Dong City, but their seven runs would not be enough to withstand Chicago’s offensive attack. The wheels came off for Jimmy Nelson as he allowed another two-run homer in the fourth inning, this time to Miguel Montero. After a scoreless fifth, Nelson allowed four straight hits to begin the sixth and was pulled when the Cubs had pulled to within 7-6. Jared Hughes came in to relieve Nelson and promptly allowed the tying run to score on an RBI triple by Jon Jay. Jay would score on a wild pitch later in the inning to give Chicago an 8-7 lead before Hughes could finally retire the side.
After a strong first couple of starts this was Nelson’s first blow-up outing of the season. The righty allowed 9 hits and 7 runs (all earned) across his 5.1 innings pitched, striking out three and walking two. His ERA now stands at 4.42 on the season.
Chicago added another run in the 8th against Oliver Drake to make the score 9-7, and that’s where the game would finish as Milwaukee’s offense went down with a whimper over the final few innings. Eric Thames’ consecutive games with a home run streak was snapped at five, though he did go 3-5 with two doubles to raise his average to .426 and his OPS to 1.491. That’s a 291 wRC+ in the season’s early going.
The loss drops Milwaukee’s record to 8-7 while the Cubs improve to 7-7. The series finale on Wednesday will feature Tommy Milone (1-0, 7.36 ERA) taking on Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 5.73 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 PM CST and the game will be broadcast on MLB Network as well as FSWisconsin and the Brewers Radio Network.