The offense continued their hot hitting, Eric Lauer provided another fantastic performance on the mound, and the Brewers defeated the Cubs 9-1 on Saturday night to secure a series win.
Last week, Lauer took a tough no-decision in a 13-strikeout gem against the Phillies, but that was not the case tonight. The southpaw notched double-digit strikeouts for the second straight outing, punching out 11 Cubs in seven innings of one-run ball.
The Brewers starter scattered five hits and issued just one walk, with the only Cubs run coming on a solo home run by catcher Yan Gomes in the second inning.
Milwaukee got on the board right out of the gates thanks to some defensive miscues by the Cubs. Andrew McCutchen reached on a throwing error by third baseman Patrick Wisdom to lead off the game. Center fielder Michael Hermosillo bobbled a soft base hit by Christian Yelich, allowing McCutchen to advance to third. Hunter Renfroe drove him in with an infield single.
Keston Hiura followed with a base hit up the middle to plate Yelich. The inning seemingly came to a close after Lorenzo Cain bounced into a double play, but Cain was ruled safe at first base after a successful Milwaukee challenge. Rowdy Tellez punched a ground ball up the middle to drive in Renfroe, capping a three-run first for the Brewers.
In the top of the second, Gomes lifted a low fastball from Lauer over the left-field fence to make it a 3-1 game, but the Brewers got that run back on an RBI single by Mike Brosseau in the third.
Rowdy Tellez launched a home run off the batter’s eye in the fifth to increase the lead to 6-1. It was Tellez’s fourth long ball of the year.
The Brewers wrapped up their scoring in the eighth with back-to-back home runs from Christian Yelich and Hunter Renfroe. Both players have gone deep in both games of the series, and Renfroe has now left the yard three times in the past two days.
That was more than enough run support for Lauer, who continued what is shaping up to be a breakout season. He continued to demonstrate increased velocity, averaging 94.1 mph with his fastball. Lauer’s heater generated a whopping 14 swings and misses out of 24 swings for a 58% whiff rate.
After Lauer departed, Trevor Gott and Jake Cousins each threw scoreless frames to seal the win. Cousins continued to battle his control, allowing a hit and issuing two walks to load the bases, but he escaped unscathed thanks to three strikeouts.
The final game of the series is tomorrow afternoon. Corbin Burnes, who is now one strikeout behind Lauer for the team lead, takes the mound as the Brewers look to complete another sweep and extend their winning streak to six games. Free-agent signing Marcus Stroman gets the ball for the Cubs.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. CDT.