Brewers trim Cubs’ NL Central lead to 1 with 3-2 win
CHICAGO — Lorenzo Cain had four hits, Mike Moustakas scored on Carl Edwards Jr.’s wild pitch in the sixth inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Monday night to pull within one game of the NL Central leaders.
Orlando Arcia and Jonathan Schoop each drove in a run as Milwaukee (83-62) won for the seventh time in eight games. It’s the closest the Brewers have been to the division lead since they trailed the Cubs by a game on Aug. 5.
Wade Miley (4-2) pitched five effective innings before Corbin Burnes, Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress closed it out for wild card-leading Milwaukee. Burnes worked a scoreless sixth, Hader struck out six straight batters and Jeffress got three outs for his 11th save.
Back home after a soggy weekend in Washington, Chicago (83-60) lost for the fifth time in seven games. Ben Zobrist had two of the Cubs’ five hits, and Kris Bryant drove in a run.
The game was tied at 2 when manager Joe Maddon and a trainer came out to check on Jon Lester after the left-hander retired the first two batters in the sixth. Lester (15-6) stayed in the game after a short conversation, and the Brewers pounced.
Moustakas singled and Erik Kratz doubled to right, putting runners on second and third. Lester then departed with lower back tightness, and Moustakas scampered home when Edwards missed badly on his first pitch to Arcia.
Lester allowed eight hits, struck out seven and walked two in his first loss since Aug. 11. The All-Star was 3-0 with a 1.52 ERA in his previous four starts.
Schoop hit a sacrifice fly in the first and Arcia added a run-scoring single in the second, helping the Brewers to a 2-1 lead. But the Cubs tied it in the fifth.
Willson Contreras doubled and advanced to third when Lester nearly drove one over Cain’s head in center field, forcing him to make a nice running catch. Following walks by Addison Russell and Daniel Murphy, Bryant hit a sacrifice fly to left.
WORK, WORK, WORK
Chicago is in the midst of 30 straight game days after Sunday’s series finale at Washington was rained out and rescheduled for Thursday. But Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the East Coast and the Cubs sound as if they are hoping for another postponement.
“It’s (Major League Baseball’s) call on something like this,” president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said. “Our voices have certainly have been heard, but we don’t have any control.”
Cubs: OF Jason Heyward (right hamstring tightness) ran on the field before the game. Asked if he will be able to play this month, Heyward responded: “We’ll see. I’m just saying — I’m going to do everything necessary, obviously, to be smart about it. But I plan on playing baseball.” … Chicago closer Brandon Morrow (right biceps inflammation) played catch. He likely will have another bullpen session in the next couple of days. “He is doing everything he possibly can. He really wants it,” Epstein said. “He signed here to pitch in October.” … LHP Drew Smyly, who had Tommy John surgery in July 2017, will not return this season. Smyly is fine, but Epstein said the team ran out of time to bring him back.
Brewers right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (14-6, 3.59 ERA) and Cubs lefty Jose Quintana (12-9, 4.14 ERA) square off again Tuesday night. Quintana beat Chacin in their previous matchup, pitching two-run ball into the seventh inning of Chicago’s 6-4 victory last Wednesday. Quintana is 5-2 with a 1.78 ERA in nine career starts against Milwaukee.