Brewers defeat Cubs in series opener

There’s little doubt that this is the most important series of the season for the Milwaukee Brewers.

They entered play on Monday trailing the Chicago Cubs for the NL Central division lead by a pair of games with 18 games left. After defeating the Cubs 3-2 at Wrigley Field, that gap has been closed to one single game between the Brewers and the Cubs.

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Third baseman Mike Moustakas scored the go-ahead run in the sixth inning on a wild pitch from Chicago’s Carl Edwards Jr. Edwards Jr. entered the game in relief of an injured Jon Lester after he left with a lower back injury. Lester took the loss after pitching 5 2/3 innings allowing all three Milwaukee runs on eight hits.

Wade Miley got the start for the Brewers and earned his fourth win of the season. Miley pitched five innings, allowing two runs on four hits. The left-hander’s stuff was working as he forced 10 ground ball outs off of Cubs bats.

Milwaukee’s bullpen had one of its best nights of the season. Corbin Burnes pitched the sixth inning allowing only one hit, then Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress combined to finish the Cubs off.

Hader had an outstanding night, retiring all six batters he faced via strikeout on 24 pitches. This was the third time this season that Hader has struck out six batters while pitching less than three innings. He has now struck out 127 batters on the season, which sets a team record for strikeouts by a reliever.

Jeffress earned the save, worked a relatively clean ninth inning, allowing only one baserunner on a walk to Willson Contreras.

Lorenzo Cain had a terrific night offensively as he totaled four hits and a run scored.

The Brewers and Cubs continue this series on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. CT.

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