EditorsNote: rewords lede, fixes to “scoreless ninth” in fourth graf, revises eighth graf
Christian Yelich beat out a potential inning-ending, double-play grounder to give the Milwaukee Brewers a walk-off, 4-3 victory over the visiting Chicago Cubs on Monday afternoon at Miller Park.
Erik Kratz walked to open the ninth off Steve Cishek (4-3) before being replaced by pinch runner Keon Broxton. Orlando Arcia was hit by a pitch, and both runners advanced on a passed ball before Curtis Granderson struck out against a five-man infield. Lorenzo Cain was then hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant backhanded Yelich’s grounder and stepped on third for the second out of the inning, but Yelich easily beat the throw to first to give the Brewers their fifth victory in six games.
Cain had two hits and an RBI, and Yelich had two RBIs as the Brewers moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals for the first National League wild card. Jeremy Jeffress (8-1) pitched a scoreless ninth for the victory.
Anthony Rizzo had half of Chicago’s six hits, and left-hander Cole Hamels made another strong start for the Cubs, who had won 10 of 12. They still lead the Brewers by four games in the NL Central. The teams will play five more times in the next nine days.
Rizzo gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead on a two-run, two-out homer in the eighth inning off Josh Hader, the only hit Hader allowed in 2 2/3 innings. Rizzo has 15 career homers at Miller Park.
The Brewers tied the game on Carl Edwards Jr.’s two-out, bases-loaded walk to pinch hitter Mike Moustakas in the bottom of the eighth. Granderson and Cain singled to open the inning before Ryan Braun walked with two outs to load the bases. Cubs manager Joe Maddon was ejected for arguing balls and strikes after the second pitch to Moustakas, who drew a four-pitch walk.
Hamels threw six innings and allowed five hits and two runs in his seventh start since joining the Cubs in a trade in late July. He struck out five and walked one.
In August, Hamels was 4-0 with a 0.69 ERA in six starts, the lowest ERA of any major league qualifier. He became the first lefty in the live-ball era to pitch at least five innings and give up no more than one run in his first six appearances with any team, according to STATS LLC.
Milwaukee right-hander Zach Davies gave up four hits and one run in five innings in his first start since May 29. He had been sidelined due to a shoulder injury. Davies struck out seven and walked one.
Javier Baez gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the first inning on aggressive baserunning after singling with one out. Baez took third on Rizzo’s single to center and scored when center fielder Cain dropped the ball while attempting the transfer from his glove to make a throw.
The Brewers took a 2-1 lead on RBI singles by Cain and Yelich in the fifth inning. Arcia singled and went to second on a two-out balk before scoring on Cain’s single. Cain took second on the throw and stole third before Yelich singled him in. Yelich was out attempting to stretch it into a double.
—Field Level Media