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Big first inning propels Brewers to 6-2 win over the Cubs

Nine wins in a row for the first-place Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Since July 7, only the Los Angeles Dodgers have a better record in the National League than the Brewers and Cubs. On Monday, those two clubs met at Wrigley Field as the top two teams in the NL Central. In a stretch of games against playoff-level teams, this three-game stretch is one of their most important as they try to return to the playoffs.

The Brewers, carrying an eight-game winning streak into Monday, have found success because they have continued to find early leads. They have struck first in five of their last eight games, and the trend continued against the Cubs. Christian Yelich started the night off with a golf shot home run to the left-field bleachers. A strikeout from William Contreras did not slow down any momentum. Sal Frelick singled to left, and Willy Adames followed with a single of his own, advancing to second and third on a bad throw from Dansby Swanson.

Getting the start at first base tonight was Rowdy Tellez. Tellez delivered in his first at-bat, driving in Frelick with a long flyout to center to extend the lead to 2-0. The first inning then became a big inning, as Mark Canha launched his eighth home run as a Brewer to the top row of the left field bleachers, making it a 4-0 lead. The four-run first is the fifth time in the last week that the Brewers had an inning with four-plus runs.

The Cubs got one back in the bottom of the inning thanks to a solo home run from Ian Happ. With a 4-1 lead, the Brewers were back again in the second, tacking onto their lead with back-to-back hits from the top of the lineup. A throwing error from Nico Hoerner allowed Yelich to get to second on a single. William Contreras then drove him in with a single through the gap into left field.

While the Brewers were stacking base hits to build their 5-1 lead, the Cubs were hitting into groundball outs. It seemed as though everyone on the infield for the Brewers was making great plays in the field. Adames and Brice Turang were showing their range up the middle, and Wade Miley even made a nice play on a comebacker in the bottom of the fourth. In total, Miley forced eleven groundball outs and struck out just one. He gave up another long ball in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 5-2 game, but it was another quality start from the left-hander.

The great pitching and defense kept the Brewers ahead as the offense cooled off. They added on an insurance run in the top of the seventh, but that was all the offense could muster after the hot start. William Contreras added his second hit of the day with a double to right field. Two batters later, Willy Adames just kept a sharp liner fair down the left field line, allowing Contreras to score from second and move the Brewer lead to 6-2.

More lights-out play from the bullpen and that 6-2 score would become the final. The win gives the Brewers nine wins in a row. They now have a five-game lead over their rivals from the south with 31 games to play. They will try to extend their win streak to double digits tomorrow night, as Corbin Burnes gets the ball against Justin Steele.