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Cubs top Brewers in 11 innings, 7 -2

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Bad defense in eighth costly

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers
Just ASK them!
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

WP: Randy Rosario (3-0); LP: Matt Albers (3-2); Save - none; Homeruns: ChiC - Anthony Rizzo (11); Mil - Erik Kratz (3), Jonathan Villar (6)

I don’t think anybody is going to look at this Box Score

The Milwaukee Brewers (39-27) continued to find ways to lose to the Chicago Cubs (38-25) tonight at Miller Park, falling 7-2 in eleven innings at Miller Park. The loss drops Milwaukee to second place, a half game back of the Cubs, and to 1-8 on the season series against Chicago.

Milwaukee reached Cubs’ starter Jose Quintana for runs for the first time this season. After failing to score in two previous starts totaling 13 innings, the Brewers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on another homer from recent acquisition Erik Kratz leading off the inning. Kratz had never faced Quintana before, so he didn’t know any better.

The Cubs evened things up in the top of the fifth off of Junior Guerra on a two out RBI single by Albert Almora. Javy Baez’ steal of second was a key to the inning.

Guerra worked six effective innings, allowing five hits and the one run (earned). He walked two and struck out four.

Jonathan Villar’s one out homerun in the bottom of the fifth put the Brewers up 2-1, but his error (well, it can’t be an error, even if it was egregious) allowed the Cubs to tie things up in the top of the eighth. Josh Hader had a perfect seventh with two strikeouts, but walked Ben Zobrist leading off the eighth. Almora hit a routine flyball to left-center, caught by Lorenzo Cain. Zobrist inexplicably tagged and was a dead duck at second, but Villar dropped Cain’s throw, allowing him to slide in safely. Perhaps it wasn’t such an inexplicable play after all.

Hader allowed only his third hit of the season to a left-handed batter, a line drive into right, by Jason Heyward, to score Zobrist. A two-out walk ended his evening.

Corey Knebel had to finish up the eighth for Hader, and worked a 1-2-3 ninth. Jeremy Jeffress was fine in the tenth, with two strikeouts.

Milwaukee had a lead-off double in the bottom of the seventh (Hernan Perez) and a one out single by Cain in the eighth but couldn’t cash in. But they went eight straight batters without a baserunner after Cain’s hit through the tenth.

Rather than burn through all three of their top relievers by bringing out Jeffress for a second inning in the eleventh, Craig Counsell went with Matt Albers, and after he couldn’t get out of the inning, Boone Logan - the Cubs happily put up five runs for the final margin. The key blow was a lead-off homer by Anthony Rizzo on Albers’ first pitch, a no-doubter into the fifteenth deck.

Notes:

  • Ryan Braun had two fine catches in left field tonight. He made a diving catch on a Texas leaguer from Rizzo for the first out of the fourth, and robbed Willson Contreras of a homerun to left with a leaping catch for Guerra’s final out in the sixth.
  • Heyward has been red hot at the plate, and had three hits in six at bats tonight.
  • Of the Brewers’ eight hits, LoCain and Perez each had two.
  • For some reason, the Cubs thought they needed to try and cheat in the bottom of the eleventh. Cain fouled off a two strike pitch, about a foot in front of Contreras, that Willson caught on the bounce. He held it up, claiming to have caught a foul tip. The home plate ump rang up Cain, but after Counsell asked him to talk to the rest of his crew, they over-ruled the call and brought Cain back up. Joe Maddon was incensed that their cheating wasn’t rewarded, and somehow managed to avoid getting tossed. Isn’t that arguing balls and strikes?
  • Milwaukee hit into three double plays for the game.
  • Eric Thames was back from his re-hab stint with the Sky Sox, but did not appear in the game tonight.

Once again, Milwaukee has to figure out a way to bounce back from another disappointing loss to the Cubs. Chicago goes with The Walkin’ Man, Tyler Chatwood (56 walks in 58.1 innings), who somehow has only a 3,86 ERA. He is 3-4. Chase Anderson looks to even the series, and is 4-5, 4.57. Chase has allowed 13 homers in 65 innings so far this season. He allowed 14 in 141.1 innings last year.