EditorsNote: rewords fourth and last grafs; adds new ninth graf
Daniel Murphy and Kyle Schwarber hit home runs, and Ben Zobrist added two RBIs to back left-hander Jose Quintana as Chicago avoided a three-game sweep with a 6-4 win over the host Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.
The second-place Brewers fell four games behind the Cubs in the National League Central, but they were still clinging to the top spot in the NL wild-card race by a half-game over St. Louis.
Milwaukee put its first two runners on in the ninth against Cubs reliever Pedro Strop, but he came back to get a flyout, a forceout and a strikeout to notch his 12th save.
The early innings saw Quintana and the Brewers’ Jhoulys Chacin each give up just one hit over three innings. That changed in the fourth.
Chacin had not allowed a home run in 28 1/3 innings, but Murphy led off the fourth by going the opposite way over the left-center-field fence to ignite a big inning.
It was Murphy’s 10th home run of the season and fourth since joining the Cubs. He also had three hits, his seventh multi-hit game in 13 games for Chicago.
Zobrist, who also had three hits, doubled in a run in the inning, Willson Contreras singled in one and another scored on a throwing error as the Cubs took a 4-0 lead.
The Brewers tried to rally in the bottom of the inning, scoring once on a bad-hop single by Jonathan Schoop, but with the bases loaded, Quintana got Orlando Arcia to pop out to end the threat.
Quintana (12-9) pitched around a few trouble spots to go 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out five.
Chicago added a run in the fifth on an RBI single from Zobrist and chased Chacin before scoring again in the sixth on Schwarber’s 25th home run.
In 4 2/3 innings, Chacin (14-6) allowed five runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk. He struck out five.
A groundout by Schoop drove in a run in the sixth to cut the Cubs’ lead to 6-2, and Milwaukee added two more in the seventh on pinch hitter Curtis Granderson’s 12th home run, his first since joining the Brewers last week.
Jesus Aguilar had two hits for Milwaukee, which had eight overall. Anthony Rizzo added two for the Cubs, who finished with 13.
—Field Level Media