MILWAUKEE — For an eighth time in nine games this season, the Milwaukee Brewers came out on short end against the Chicago Cubs, this time in a 7-2 loss in 11 innings.
Drop costs Milwaukee
Lorenzo Cain thought he had a double play. It was in the eighth inning, and after a leadoff walk by Ben Zobrist, Alvin Almora Jr. hit a fly ball to deep center. Cain caught it easily and had Zobrist dead to right at second base after he tagged up. Only problem? Jonathan Villar couldn’t handle the throw, allowing Zobrist to slide in safely. Two pitches later, Jason Heyward singled to right, scoring Zobrist. It tied the game at two and gave all the momentum to Chicago, something Milwaukee never got back.
The Cubs jumped on Matt Albers in the 11th inning, with Anthony Rizzo drilling a home run on the first pitch to take a 3-2 lead. Chicago would add four more runs on the Brewers’ reliever before the inning was done.
You can’t put all that happened on Villar, obviously, but it turned out to be the clear turning point in the game.
Ryan Braun’s defense
He may be in his 12th season and playing first base at times, but Ryan Braun showed he’s still got some skills in the outfield Monday night — twice actually. The veteran took a hit away from Rizzo in the third inning on a diving backhanded grab. But he was only getting started. With Milwaukee holding a 2-1 lead in the sixth, it looked like Wilson Contreras had tied things with a shot to left. It wasn’t to be, though, as Braun went up and pulled the ball back for the third and final out. Making things even more dramatic, he held the ball behind his back, with almost no one knowing he had caught it.
Junior Guerra gets it done
For the second straight start against the Cubs, Junior Guerra brought some of his best stuff. He made it six innings and gave up just one run, earning his fourth straight quality start. The 33-year-old certainly got some defensive help from Braun, but it was another outing that showed he’s back to what he was in 2016 when he came out of nowhere to go 9-3 with a 2.81 ERA. It’s tough to imagine a Milwaukee rotation without Guerra this season.