EditorsNote: Several changes throughout
Pinch hitter Tyler Austin’s three-run homer highlighted a five-run fourth inning as the Milwaukee Brewers recorded a series victory over the visiting Chicago Cubs with an 8-5 win on Sunday.
Ryan Braun added an RBI double in the fourth inning, and Eric Thames homered to lead off the sixth inning for the Brewers, who won the final three contests of the four-game set to move within two games of Chicago for the second wild card in the National League.
Brent Suter (1-0) picked up the win after allowing one hit over two scoreless innings in relief of starter Adrian Houser.
Chicago’s Jason Heyward launched a two-run homer off Jimmy Nelson in the ninth inning, but Josh Hader struck out both batters he faced to secure his 29th save of the season.
Despite the loss, the Cubs kept their lead over Arizona at 1 1/2 games as the Diamondbacks dropped a 4-3 decision to Cincinnati earlier Sunday.
Milwaukee answered Chicago’s three-run third with a big fourth inning. Braun’s double plated Christian Yelich to trim the Cubs’ lead to 3-2. Hernan Perez tied it up with an RBI single before Austin pinch hit for Houser and deposited a 3-1 fastball from Jon Lester (12-10) over the wall in left-center field.
Thames followed up Austin’s ninth homer of the season with his 21st, launching a first-pitch cutter from Lester over the wall in center field in the sixth inning. Tyrone Taylor recorded his first major league hit in just his second plate appearance with an RBI single later in the inning to stake the Brewers to an 8-3 lead.
Chicago took advantage after Addison Russell was hit by a pitch to lead off the third inning. Russell promptly stole second base and scored on a hit from David Bote, who advanced to second on right fielder Yelich’s throwing error.
Bote didn’t wait there long as Lester doubled him home. Ben Zobrist followed suit to plate the pitcher and give the Cubs a 3-1 lead.
—Field Level Media