Brewers rally past Chicago 3-2, drop Cubs out of 1st place
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers enjoyment over a comeback victory over Chicago that knocked the Cubs out of first place was offset by concerns over another possible injury to a starting pitcher.
Ben Gamel hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the eighth inning, and the Brewers rallied to beat Chicago 3-2 Friday night. The bad news for Milwaukee came when Gio Gonzalez left in the seventh inning when his shoulder tightened up.
Milwaukee All-Star right-hander Brandon Woodruff went on the injured list Monday with a strained left oblique and right-hander Jhoulys Chacín was placed on the IL Thursday with a strained lat.
“With Gio, we’re kind of day to day,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He really just stiffened up is what we’ve got right now. We’ll see how he is tomorrow and the next day; we’re not ruling him out for his next start. He got stiff. That was a long inning. He felt like he couldn’t get loose through that inning and there was some stiffness there with that warmup pitch that he threw, so we stopped it.”
Gonzalez didn’t allow a hit to the Cubs until the sixth, when Albert Almora Jr. reached on an infield single and David Bote followed with his 10th home run.
Christian Yelich started Milwaukee’s comeback in the seventh when he greeted Brandon Kintzler (2-1) with an RBI single.
Kintzler walked Keston Hiura with one out in the eighth and hit Eric Thames with a pitch. Pedro Strop hit pinch-hitter Ryan Braun and, one out later, Gamel lined a single to right-center.
“When you have the lead late, those (losses) are demoralizing, especially for a bullpen,” Kintzler said. “We are doing our best to keep it tight.”
Adrian Hauser (4-4) pitched 1 2/3 hitless innings. Josh Hader worked around Kris Bryant’s one-out single in the ninth, striking out two for his 23rd save in 25 chances.
Chicago, which had held at least a share of the NL Central lead since after play on July 4, dropped one game behind St. Louis. Milwaukee closed within a game of the Cubs.
Each team had four hits but the game took 3 hours, 9 minutes.
Gonzalez, making his second start since six weeks on the injured list with left arm fatigue, left with left shoulder tightness after allowing three hits in 6 1/3 innings with nine strikeouts and one walk.
“It kind of stiffened up, it kind of grabbed a little bit so we all just kind of played it safe by backing off a little bit,” Gonzalez said. “I think I’ll be alright. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the seventh inning so I was just hanging in there.
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks allowed just two singles over five scoreless innings, but was lifted for pinch-hitter Kyle Schwarber.
“I had a little bit left but that’s a tough part in the ball game right there and that’s just a National League game,” Hendricks said. “Just thought it was best to do that and give (Schwarber) a chance to extend the lead.”
Cubs: LF Ian Happ was recalled from Triple-A Iowa and went 0 for 3 with a strikeout. Happ, who had 39 homers over two seasons with the Cubs, was hitting .242 with 16 homers and 53 RBI at Iowa.
Brewers: 3B Travis Shaw was recalled from Triple-A San Antonio and went 0 for 3, stranding four runners.
Chicago acquired LHP Derek Holland from San Francisco for a player to be named.
Cubs: RHP Steve Cishek was removed with two outs in the seventh after being struck in the back by a line-drive bouncer off the bat of Lorenzo Cain. The Cubs said Cishek was not injured.
Cubs: LHP Jon Lester (9-6, 3.87 ERA) is to make his 400th big league start Saturday. He is 6-2 with a 2.95 ERA in 11 home outings but 3-4 with a 5.09 ERA on the road.
Brewers: RHP Chase Anderson (5-2, 3.90 ERA) was 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in five starts in July. Left-handers are hitting just .169 against him, but righties are hitting .293.