MILWAUKEE – For at least an inning, it looked like the Cubs were about to continue a positive trend in 2021: Avoiding sweeps in long series.
Four times this season in three-or-four game sets the team faced a potential sweep only to pull out a win to avoid it happening. In the month of June, it’s happened twice, with the Cubs salvaging one from the Giants to end a four-game series on June 6th then doing the same thing against the Mets June 17th.
One would figure a rare seven-run first inning would do the trick, but as the momentum switches away from the Cubs at the end of this month, so did this big lead.
In fact, they were doubled-up before things were all said and done.
Milwaukee would score 15-unanswered runs at American Family Field on Wednesday afternoon to fully make up the early advantage. The Brewers’ win made them the first team to sweep the Cubs in 2021 in a series over three games.
The Indians won both games in a two-game set on May 11 & 12.
Failing to hold the lead now extends the losing streak for the Cubs to six going back to their series with the Dodgers in Los Angeles, with the team now trailing Milwaukee by six games in the NL Central standings.
Such a scenario didn’t seem likely when Javier Baez and Patrick Wisdom drove in two runs apiece in that seven-run first inning against starter Aaron Ashby, who didn’t make it out of the frame. But Jake Arrieta couldn’t hold the Brewers down as they got one in the first then four off the start in the second inning.
It was the pitcher’s throwing error to first that allowed two runs to score in that frame as Milwaukee cut the lead to 7-6.
Things fell apart in the fourth inning when the Cubs’ bullpen surrendered eight runs, three that were charged to Rex Brothers and five to Tommy Nance. The latter allowed a grand slam to Willy Adames that pushed Brewers’ lead to 14-7.
Luis Urias added a sixth inning solo homer to finish the scoring in a game where the Cubs couldn’t find away to avoid a sweep, even with a seven-run lead.