MILWAUKEE — Ian Happ hit a tiebreaking two-run single during Chicago’s four-run ninth, helping the Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 on Saturday.
Happ struck out three more times, running his team-high total to a whopping 17 in seven games, but he came up with a clutch hit in his final at-bat. With one out and the bases loaded, he dumped a 0-1 pitch from Jacob Barnes into left-center to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead.
After Kris Bryant was intentionally walked, manager Joe Maddon sent starting pitcher Jon Lester to the plate to hit for reliever Pedro Strop (2-0). Lester got down a sacrifice that drove in Ben Zobrist from third for the final run.
Barnes (0-1), who was filling in for injured closer Corey Knebel, was charged with four runs, two earned. He was hurt by errors on shortstop Orlando Arcia and third baseman Travis Shaw.
Brandon Morrow got three outs for his first save since signing with the Cubs in the offseason.
Milwaukee wasted a nice start for Zach Davies, who struck out eight while pitching six innings of one-run ball. Eric Thames homered in the fourth inning, and Lorenzo Cain hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Chicago star Kris Bryant had three hits, including his second homer of the season, and walked twice one day after he committed a costly error in the ninth inning of Milwaukee’s 5-4 win. Yu Darvish also bounced back from a rocky debut with the Cubs, striking out nine over six crisp innings.
The Cubs’ ninth-inning rally began when Victor Caratini reached on an infield single with one out and advanced when Arcia’s throw bounced past Thames for an error. Barnes then walked Jason Heyward and Javier Baez followed with a sharp bouncer to Shaw, who booted the ball to load the bases.
Zobrist’s infield single tied it at 2 and set the stage for Happ’s big hit after a rough start to the season.