A tough defensive third inning and a quiet offense did the Brewers in on Opening Day as Milwaukee lost to the division-rival Cubs on Thursday afternoon.
Corbin Burnes did not have his best command in his inaugural start, issuing three walks against just three strikeouts. Burnes allowed four earned runs in five innings.
Meanwhile, Cubs starter Marcus Stroman mowed down Milwaukee hitters. In six shutout innings, Stroman limited the Brewers to three hits and three walks. He struck out eight and induced seven ground ball outs.
The Brewers had their best opportunity to score in the third inning. An infield single by Brice Turang and walks by Christian Yelich and Willy Adames loaded the bases with one out for Rowdy Tellez, who grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Cubs pounced in the bottom half of the inning, taking advantage of some mistakes by Burnes and the Brewers’ defense to score all four of their runs.
Burnes walked Patrick Wisdom to start the inning and got Miles Mastrobuoni to ground into a fielder’s choice. Nico Hoerner and Dansby Swanson followed with back-to-back singles. Swanson’s hit scored Mastrobuoni. Adames attempted to throw out Swanson rounding first base, but his throw sailed past Rowdy Tellez, allowing Hoerner to score from third.
Trey Mancini lined another RBI single a couple of batters later to make it 3-0. The fourth run scored on another mistake by Adames, who ran to second base on a two-out ground ball by Yan Gomes instead of throwing to first. Adames failed to beat the lead runner, extending the inning.
The Brewers failed to find any success against the Cubs bullpen, adding just one more hit on a ninth-inning single by Contreras. Keegan Thompson, Brad Boxberger, and Michael Fulmer combined to seal the win for Chicago.
Peter Strzelecki, Gus Varland, and Javy Guerra combined for three scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the Brewers.
Milwaukee has a day off tomorrow and will return to play on Saturday for the second game of the series. Brandon Woodruff will start opposite left-hander Justin Steele. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. CT.