A four-run sixth inning was enough to get the Chicago Cubs past Milwaukee with a 9-7 win on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.
Jimmy Nelson had a 7-4 lead heading into the bottom of sixth but couldn’t hold it. After retiring the first batter, he proceeded to give up three hits and a run before manager Craig Counsell pulled him. Insert Jared Hughes, who couldn’t stem the Cubs momentum, giving up a triple to Jon Jay that scored a pair, followed by a wild pitch that allowed Chicago to take a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Hughes got the loss, but Nelson’s line wasn’t pretty either. After two really good outings to start the year, he got tagged with seven runs on nine hits and gave up a pair of home runs.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s offense kept rolling along, led by first baseman Eric Thames. Though he didn’t hit a home run for the first time in five games, the lefty did go 3 or 4 from the plate and scored twice. Third baseman Travis Shaw had a pair of doubles and three RBI’s on the night, while outfielder Domingo Santana knocked in a couple runs as well.
The loss was just the second in the last eight games for Milwaukee.
The two teams will play the rubber match of their three-game series this afternoon at Wrigley Field.
The Milwaukee Brewers ruined Opening Day in Toronto last night, coming out 4-3 winners against the Blue Jays.
The Crew got another very good outing from Wily Peralta, who picked up his second win of the season by going six innings, giving up three runs on five hits and striking out seven. The veteran also walked four.
His outing was backed by a trio of relievers – Jacob Barnes, Corey Knebel and Neftali Feliz – who didn’t allow a hit in the final three innings. Feliz earned his second save of the year with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Milwaukee was paced offensively by Domingo Santana, who had a pair of RBI’s, including a home run in the fifth inning that proved to be all the scoring the Brewers would need.
Outfielder Keon Boxton went 2 for 5 and hit the first home run of his season, while catcher Manny Pina continued his hot start with three hits in four plate appearances to push his batting average to .429 through eight games.
All of the damage Milwaukee did came against starter J.A. Happ, who fell to 0-2 on the year. He gave up the four runs on nine hits, while also striking out eight batters.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Milwaukee, while the Blue Jays fell to 1-5 on the year, the worst start in franchise history.
The second and final game of the quick interleague series is tonight at the Rogers Centre. First pitch is set for 6:07 p.m.