Cubs display power in 7-6 win
It appeared as if the Chicago Cubs were going to cruise away with an easy 7-3 win until outfielder Ryan Braun launched a three-run shot in the bottom of the ninth off Hector Rondon, making it a one-run ballgame. Rondon would strike out Gerardo Parra after Milwaukee strung together a couple more two-out hits to give his team the 7-6 win.
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Chicago got on the board first on a lead-off home run by Dexter Fowler off Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson, his second home run of the season and his first since April. Milwaukee tied things up in the bottom half of the first after Jason Hammel walked Ryan Braun, who crossed home plate on a RBI single by Khris Davis.
Hammel (3-1, 3.52 ERA) improves to 6-0 lifetime against Milwaukee (9-21) after working seven solid innings, allowing just two earned runs on five hits with three walks and eight strikeouts. Davis would later drill a solo home run off Hammel in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Cubs broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the fourth inning on a lead-off home run by first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Veteran catcher Miguel Montero followed that up with his third double of the season, putting himself in scoring position with Jorge Soler due up next.
Soler, who has struggled after his huge game against the Reds in early April, drilled a two-run shot to center field to make it a 4-1 ballgame. Rizzo later padded onto Chicago’s (15-13) score, making it 5-2 on a RBI single to right field, pushing Fowler across to score.
Nelson (1-3, 4.25 ERA) was hammered for multiple home runs tonight but managed to record 11 strikeouts in seven frames. He surrendered five earned runs on five hits including one walk to Miguel Montero in the sixth inning.
What Stood Out:
The Chicago Cubs hit three home runs in four games in St. Louis against the Cardinals, but managed to hit four in one night against the Milwaukee Brewers. It’s great to see, especially from this struggling team who was once four games above .500, and found themselves clinging onto second place with only one game above the mark.
Rizzo’s power is starting to come around, as he enters Saturday’s game with three home runs in as many games. If he continues to swing a hot bat, he should give tomorrow’s starter a massive headache in game two of this three-game weekend set.
Picking up the start tomorrow is southpaw Travis Wood. Wood (2-1, 4.40 ERA) is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals back on May 4 – a game in which he gave up six earned runs on as many hits, and a first-inning grand slam to infielder Mark Reynolds.
He’ll need to shake off that start if he wants to keep his team in second-place behind St. Louis in the N.L. Central.
Starting opposite of Wood will be veteran Kyle Lohse. Lohse (1-4, 7.06 ERA) will be pitching against the Cubs for the first time this season, but picked up a no-decision on May 4 against the Dodgers. He gave up three earned runs on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts across five innings while going head-to-head with Clayton Kershaw.
Dodgers’ outfielder Joc Pederson led-off that game with a solo home run to right-center field.
First pitch is slated for 6:10 pm central time and will be aired live on both CSN and WBBM 780.