Cubs ride early lead to 7-4 victory over Brewers

MILWAUKEE — Another rough start for Zach Davies led to his second loss of the season, as the Milwaukee Brewers fell to the Chicago Cubs 7-4 at Miller Park Sunday afternoon.

Davies allowed a double to Addison Russell, a triple to Jason Heyward, and a home run to Kyle Schwarber to put the Brewers in a 5-0 hole entering the bottom of the second inning. While he finished out the remainder of his five innings allowing just one more hit throughout the day, the Milwaukee offense couldn’t pick up the slack.

Ryan Braun did his best, driving in three on a home run to center field in the third inning to cut the deficit to two. Chicago would open it back up by adding a pair of runs in the seventh inning, which was set up by a throwing error that allowed a base-runner to advance to second.

Jake Arrieta excelled on the mound for Chicago, racking up 10 strikeouts in a seven-inning performance.

After losing their first series against the Cubs, the Brewers will get another shot on the road when they meet Chicago again Apr. 17-19. Milwaukee’s next nine games are on the road and won’t return to Miller Park until Apr. 20.

Cubs bats too much for Brewers in 11-6 defeat

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers couldn’t keep pace with the 17 hits the Chicago Cubs racked up, evening up the series in an 11-6 loss at Miller Park Saturday night.

Left-handed pitcher Tommy Milone was solid his first time through the Chicago lineup, but eventually allowed every Cubs batter to reach base. He gave up nine hits and four earned runs over four innings. The Cubs may not have hit the ball out of the park, but playing “small ball” worked to their advantage, with five batters logging multi-hit performances.

“We needed more fielders tonight,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “They get credit for putting the ball in play, for sure, they put the ball in play, but they found a lot of holes.”

With Ryan Braun scratched from the lineup with back tightness, the Milwaukee offense struggled to keep pace, striking out 13 times in 34 at-bats. That’s despite home runs from Jonathan Villar, Nick Franklin, and Jett Bandy.

The series concludes from Miller Park Sunday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 p.m.

Brewers beat Cubs in 11th on wild pitch

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers opened a series with the Chicago Cubs by beating their border rivals 2-1 in the 11th inning thanks to a wild pitch that allowed Ryan Braun to score the winning run.

Braun singled off Mike Montgomery to get on base, which was the first hit Milwaukee recorded since the sixth inning. Montgomery subsequently walked Jesus Aguilar, while Jett Bandy was hit by pitch. That allowed Braun to take advantage of his chance on base, scoring after an 0-2 to Manny Pina was misfired.

“We had gone a couple of innings where we didn’t get much going,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We didn’t have great at-bats, I didn’t think. But that inning, guys just kept the at-bat alive. … A three-inning appearance for Montgomery, I know he was stretched out in the spring, but that’s still a lot to ask.”

Jimmy Nelson had a solid start for the Brewers, going six innings while giving up just the one earned run on a home run to Ben Zobrist. The five relievers who followed up Nelson combined for a shutout the rest of the way against the defending World Champions.

Packers claim ex-Bears DT Ego Ferguson

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers added another piece to the defensive line Monday evening by claiming former Chicago Bears tackle Ego Ferguson.

Ferguson is in the final year of his four-year rookie contract, being selected by Chicago in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of LSU. He stands to make about $980,000 in the 2017 season.

The Bears moved on from Ferguson after injuries and suspensions limited him to 13 tackles, two sacks, and one start in his three years with the team. He was waived this season with an injury designation before officially being released last week.

Packers CB Dorleant arrested for disturbance at Iowa bar

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Green Bay Packers cornerback Makinton Dorleant was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with misdemeanor interference during a disturbance at an Iowa bar.

Dorleant was with former Northern Iowa teammate and Chicago Bears cornerback Deiondre’ Hall at Sharkey’s Fun House just off campus. Hall was cited for disorderly conduct, public intoxication, and interference. Both players were released from jail that same night.

Dorleant described the incident in a phone interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“The bouncer at the front door, he wasn’t letting us in. He forced me out, and then Deiondre’ saw it and there was a little shoving, like other guys too that we were hanging out with. Then the police came and they just had to separate us. They took me and Deiondre’ — not away but they drove us off just because there was a scene. We ended up driving away downtown. Then we got let go. That was really it. Nothing else really happened from what I know.”

Dorleant went undrafted before signing with the Packers in May of 2016. He’s played in four games for Green Bay, recorded one tackle.

Bucks can’t contain Bulls in 109-94 loss

MILWAUKEE — What had been a stout Milwaukee Bucks defense over the last couple weeks reverted back to old form in a 109-94 loss to the Chicago Bulls Sunday afternoon.

Chicago converted on 10 of its 21 (47.6 percent) three-point attempts, while dominating the glass and grabbing 49 rebounds, compared to Milwaukee’s 34. The Bulls used a 35-point third quarter to expand their lead to as many as 20 points.

Nikola Mirotic led the Bulls by tying his season high with 28 points, while Jimmy Butler added 20 for Chicago, along with a career-high 14 assists.

”My mantra is always to pass the ball to the open guy whether it’s late game, early game,” Butler said.

The Bucks were led by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 22 points and eight rebounds. A win would have given Milwaukee the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference outright, while completing the season sweep of their southern rivals for the first time since the 2000-’01 season. That year, Milwaukee also made the Eastern Conference Finals.

Milwaukee has beaten its last 17 opponents when holding them under 100 points.

Packers avoid collapse, beat Bears 30-27

CHICAGO — The Green Bay Packers allowed the Chicago Bears to come back from a 27-10 lead, but Aaron Rodgers’ late drive allowed Mason Crosby to hit the game-winner as time expired to give Green Bay a 30-27 win.

Bears quarterback Matt Barkley showed why some within the organization think he could be the future of the franchise, throwing for 362 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Unfortunately for Barkley, he also turned the ball over three times.

Rodgers, on the other hand, made the most of his opportunities, gimpy calf and all, throwing a 60-yard pass to Jordy Nelson with less than 30 seconds remaining to set Crosby up for the game-winning field goal. Rodgers was 19-of-31 on the day for 252 yards, and while he didn’t find the end zone, he also avoided any turnovers.

The Green Bay running game was superb, with Ty Montgomery and Christine Michael combining for 207 yards and three touchdowns.

Bucks blow past Bulls for second straight win

CHICAGO — One night after beating the Bulls in Milwaukee, the Bucks took the momentum on the road to defeat Chicago 95-69 Friday night.

Milwaukee jumped out to an early lead, ending the first quarter with a 34-15 advantage. The hot shooting continued, as the Bucks converted on 46.3 percent of their field goals and 40 percent of three-point attempts. That’s compared to Chicago’s 30.4 percent shooting and 23.8 percent conversion rate from distance.

Giannis Antetokounmpo paced Milwaukee with 22 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds, while five other Bucks players finished in double digit scoring.

”We talked about it: We would like to duplicate what we did in Milwaukee,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. ”I thought our guys came out with that same intent to share the ball, move guys around. I think rebounding the ball and our defense put us in position to win a game on the road against a very talented team.”

For Milwaukee, it snaps a five-game losing streak at the United Center and bumps the team up to fifth in the Eastern Conference standings at 13-12. They’ll host the Cleveland Cavaliers (18-6, first place) on Tuesday night.

Monroe leads Bucks to preseason win over Bulls

CHICAGO — The Milwaukee Bucks got 15 points from backup center Greg Monroe in a 93-91 preseason win over the Chicago Bulls Monday night.

Monroe led all scorers in the game, despite playing 17 minutes off the bench. It wasn’t  a new role for Monroe, who was relived of his duties as a full-time starter in the last half of the 2015-16 season. There had been rumors all offseason that Monroe could potentially be traded after the Bucks regressed from their surprise 41-41 season in 2014-15.

Michael Carter-Williams was also involved in some trade rumors, but played like the former Rookie of the Year coach Jason Kidd traded for during the playoff run two years ago. He was one of just two players in last night’s game to record a double double, finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Taj Gibson was the other, giving Chicago 11 points and 12 rebounds.

The Bulls eased newcomer Dwyane Wade into game action, limiting him to 12 minutes where he added six points and recorded two steals. Milwaukee was one of many teams to pursue Wade in the offseason, hoping they could bring the 12-time All Star back to where he played his college days at Marquette University.

The Bucks are fresh off a week of training camp held at the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison and return to the state capital on Saturday night for the next preseason game against the Dallas Mavericks at 7:30 p.m.

Fowler returns as Cubs beat Brewers 5-2

MILWAUKEE — Playing for the first time since June 18, Chicago Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler went 3-for-4 at the plate to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2.

Fowler was a triple shy of the cycle, bringing three Chicago base runners across the plate. He was backed by Jason Hammel, who struck out four Milwaukee batters in five innings of work. He gave up four hits and two earned runs, the same as his opposition Jimmy Nelson.

One of Hammel’s hits allowed went to Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, who went yard in the bottom of the fourth, but Milwaukee’s bats were limited from there, getting shut out the final four innings thanks to Chicago’s bullpen.

Nelson has struggled to a 1-5 record his last nine starts and winless in his last 10 against the Cubs.