Chicago Cubs make it two straight over Brewers behind Yu Darvish

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

After faltering in the fifth inning in previous starts, Yu Darvish fired six frames Friday, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 3-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Chicago Cubs needed a strong start from Yu Darvish. Well, perhaps Darvish needed a strong start more than the team did. He delivered, allowing just one unearned run over six frames, in undoubtedly his best start of the season.

Milwaukee (16-11) scored first in the ballgame – through no fault of Darvish. The first batter of the game, Lorenzo Cain, popped a ball into shallow right field. Jason Heyward battled the sun and the wind, losing the ball for a two-base error. After Cain stole third, Jesus Aguilar drove him in with a sac fly to make it 1-0 Brewers.

The Cubs answered right back with two tallies of their own in the bottom of the inning. Albert Almora doubled to lead things off and Javier Baez scored him with a single to left-center field. Baez swiped second and scored on an RBI single from Anthony Rizzo, giving the Cubs a lead they held till the seventh.

A battle in the late innings

That’s where the score remained until the top of the seventh inning when Christian Yelich tied the game on a sac fly to deep right field off Brian Duensing. Pedro Strop entered and limited the damage, getting Jesus Aguilar to fly out to end the inning and keep the game tied.

With men at first and third in the bottom of the inning, Javier Baez hit a ground ball to Eric Sogard at short. The ball hit the tip of his glove, allowing Baez to reach and the Addison Russell to score the go-ahead run.

Right-hander Carl Edwards came on for a 1-2-3 top of the eighth and closer Brandon Morrow closed the door in the ninth, picking up his sixth save of the season.

Chicago (13-10) moves to three games above .500 for the first time this season with the win. A victory in one of the final two games would give the Cubs a series win over the Brewers. Milwaukee had entered Friday tied for first in the division.

Both Baez and Almora extended their respective hitting streaks to 10 games with their aforementioned first-inning singles. No Cubs hitter tallied more than one hit in the win. The team went just 3-for-12 (.250) with runners in scoring position, but outhit the Brewers 7-to-4.

Next: Should Baez, Russell swap positions defensively?

What’s Next

Jose Quintana takes the ball for the Cubs on Saturday afternoon with Chicago looking to lock up a series win. Milwaukee sends right-hander Junior Guerra to the hill in opposition. First pitch is set for 1:20 p.m. CT.