Apr 27, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcherJason Hammel
(39) pitches in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Right-hander Jason Hammel cruised yet again, tossing seven shutout innings, and Starlin Castro clubbed a pair of home runs, leading the Cubs to a 4-0 win in the series finale against the Milwaukee Brewers, helping the club avoid the three-game sweep.
Hammel (4-1, 2.08 ERA) scattered just three hits while striking out seven Milwaukee hitters.
Chicago (8-16) scored first for the first time in the series with a pair of runs in the top of the second against Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta (3-1, 2.56 ERA), courtesy of Castro’s third home run of the season and an RBI ground out by Darwin Barney.
The Cubs added two more runs, with Mike Olt driving in a run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth, plating Anthony Rizzo – and Castro connecting for his second home run of the day in the eighth.
Three Cubs hitters tallied multiple hits – leadoff man Ryan Kalish added a pair, Castro led the team with three hits and catcher John Baker broke out of an 0-for-18 season-opening hitless streak, collecting two hits on the afternoon.
Milwaukee (18-7) struggled offensively all afternoon long against Hammel, and two Cubs relievers closed the door in the eighth and the ninth. Pedro Strop tossed a scoreless eighth and Hector Rondon closed the door by striking out the side in the ninth to help the Cubs prevent falling victim to a three-game sweep.
Chicago will continue its current road trip with a three-game set at Cincinnati that begins tomorrow with a 6:10 p.m. CT start at Great American Ballpark.