Brewers’ eight-game winning streak comes to end
CHICAGO — Eight, apparently, was enough.
Kyle Hendricks outpitched Chase Anderson with seven crisp innings, and the Chicago Cubs stopped Milwaukee’s eight-game winning streak with a 1-0 victory over the Brewers on Thursday night.
Hendricks (2-1) allowed four hits, struck out five and walked none in his best outing this season.
“When my fastball command was good from the start, I knew everything would work off that,” Hendricks said. “So I was able to throw more curveballs. The action on that was good, even got a few strikes over with it. Everything just fell in line from there.”
Anderson (2-2) stayed with him until Kyle Schwarber drove an 0-1 pitch over the wall in right for his seventh homer with one out in the sixth.
“He threw a great game and I just tried to match that,” Anderson said. “And, you know, one pitch to Schwarber, I feel like if it’s up two, three inches he either pops it up or doesn’t hit it. I kind of put it where he likes it. Just one mistake.”
Carl Edwards Jr. worked the eighth and Brandon Morrow finished the six-hitter for his fifth save in five chances. With two outs and Ryan Braun on first, Travis Shaw flied out to the warning track in left.
The Cubs had seven hits while playing without slugger Kris Bryant, who missed his third straight game after he was beaned during a victory at Colorado last weekend.
Catcher Willson Contreras rested for most of the night before entering as a defensive replacement for the eighth.
Milwaukee got a two-out double in each of the first two innings but was unable to capitalize. Shaw flied out with Braun on second in the first, and Jett Bandy took a called third strike after Orlando Arcia’s hit in the second.
Anderson allowed five hits and walked one in seven innings. He had won each of his prior two starts.
The right-hander got some help from Braun, who made his first start at first base since Eric Thames tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb during Tuesday night’s 5-2 victory at Kansas City. Braun and Jesus Aguilar are expected to fill in at first while Thames is sidelined.
With two outs and runners on first and second in the second, Braun made a great diving stop behind the bag and flipped to Anderson to retire Jason Heyward.
Braun held out his right arm and pointed as Anderson stepped on the base, and then hustled into the dugout with his mouth open and his tongue out.
“That play against Heyward was nice,” Braun said. “That guy has probably taken away a solid 10 to 12 extra-base hits from me over the years. There are very few guys I would want to take an extra-base hit away from more, because of all the ones he’s taken from me.”
Hendricks’ defense also turned in a couple of nice plays. Albert Almora Jr. made a solid running catch on Lorenzo Cain’s deep drive to center in the sixth, and second baseman Javier Baez robbed Braun of a hit with a leaping catch for the first out of the seventh.
Thames heads to Phoenix
Thames is headed to Phoenix for a second opinion on his injured left thumb, which is likely to require surgery.
Thames was examined Thursday morning by Brewers head physician William Raasch and is scheduled for a visit Friday with Dr. Don Sheridan, a Phoenix-based hand specialist.
Thames could undergo surgery at that time, Brewers general manager David Stearns said, after which the team will have a better idea of a timetable for his return.
“The injury, if it’s a surgery, I think you’re looking at a minimum of six weeks and then you’ve got to see how the individual feels,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
Returning to the scene of his Sept. 8 right shoulder injury, Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson mimicked throwing off one of Wrigley Field’s bullpen mounds Thursday afternoon. Nelson is not quite ready to actually throw off a mound, but he is getting close.
“He is progressing through his throwing program,” general manager David Stearns said. “I think he is progressing well, but we’ll keep taking it a step at a time. He may not be too far away.”
Yu Darvish (0-2, 6.86 ERA) starts for Chicago Friday afternoon. The Japanese right-hander is off to a slow start in his first season with the Cubs, and manager Joe Maddon said he told his pitcher he has confidence in him.
“This guy’s good. This guy’s going to show it. He’s going to show up,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “And the thing (is) as a manager, as a coach, I’m just trying to get him to respect this pitch and then respect that next pitch, but don’t try to over-evaluate it or make it more complicated than that because your stuff, I don’t know, top 10 in baseball probably.”
Brent Suter (1-2, 5.68 ERA) pitches for Milwaukee. The left-hander is 0-2 with a 5.75 ERA in his past four starts.