After a dominant performance last time out against the D-Backs in which he allowed just one run while striking out nine over seven innings, Travis Wood wasn’t so fortunate this time out, falling victim to a red-hot Brewers’ offense to drop game two by a score of 5-3.
Wood seemed to be well off his game all night, walking three batters over five-plus innings while allowing five earned runs on seven hits to take his third loss of the new season.
Marco Estrada for the Brew Crew simply outpitched Wood in this one, finishing with just three runs allowed over seven-plus frames, while striking out nine Cubs batters. Estrada looked to have an even better line until it got to two outs in the eighth inning, when Welington Castillo took him deep to end his night.
Jean Segura leaving early after getting smacked in the head by Ryan Braun‘s bat opened up an opportunity for Jeff Bianchi to enter into the game, making the most of it with a two-run single in the second inning, pushing the lead to 3-0.
The Cubs finally got on the board in the fourth inning, as Luis Valbuena notched the Cubs’ first hit at the time with a solo dinger to right field, good for his first long ball of the season. But, that run would be erased as soon as the next half-inning, with Mark Reynolds scoring on a force out courtesy of Gomez, making it a three-run lead once again at 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth.
The Brewers added their final run off Wood in the sixth inning, with Khris Davis taking the lefty very deep to left field to increase the Cubs’ deficit to four, a daunting task for a slumping squad.
However, the Cubs actually made some waves in the eighth inning against Milwaukee, as Castillo capped off Estrada’s outing with a two-run blast, scoring Mike Olt to give Cubs fans a glimpse of hope, down just 5-3 entering the ninth inning.
Francisco Rodriguez dashed any hopes of a comeback, continuing his early-season dominance while extending his scoreless streak to 13 to start the year, shutting down Valbeuna, Rizzo, and Castro 1-2-3 to close out the Brewers’ Major-League leading 17th victory.
The Cubs (7-16) will try to salvage at least one game from this rough series, with Jason Hammel (3-1, 2.60 ERA) scheduled to start, while looking to avoid the sweep and snap a four game skid. The Brewers (17-6), however, are looking to add to their surprising Major League-leading 17 wins, sending Wily Peralta (3-0,2.19 ERA) to the mound.