Milwaukee, WI-(ENEWSPF)- The Cubs (55-47) after dropping two of three in San Francisco against the Giants, headed to Milwaukee Friday to take on the 3rd-place Brewers (54-50) at Miller Park.
This was the first of a big three-game series against Milwaukee, who currently trail the Northsiders and the St. Louis Cardinals by two games in the NL Central.
The scheduled starters for the series opener was Kyle Hendricks (7-8 3.41) vs. Gio Gonzalez (2-1 3.60).
Hendricks is still in search of his first win since June 9 against the Cardinals and has lost four of his last five decisions since. For Gonzalez, it was his second start since being reactivated from the IL.
Both starters were locked in and threw shutout ball through the first five innings with The Professor was done after the 5th only allowing two hits, no runs, and striking while striking out 5 and walking 2. His counterpart, Gio Gonzalez, was pitching a no-hit ball and only allowed a walk.
The Cubs got their first hit in the 6th when Albert Almora Jr. leadoff the inning with an infield single followed by a David Bote 411ft over the Brewers bullpen for his 10th home run of the year and give the Northsiders a 2-0 lead.
The Brew Crew threatened in the bottom half of the 6th. With the bases jammed and two outs, Steve Cishek got Travis Shaw to fly out harmlessly to Almora Jr. in center to end the inning.
Milwaukee got on the board in the 7th when reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich hit an RBI-single to left off of Brandon Kintzler to score Ben Gamel to cut the Cub lead in half 2-1.
Then in the 8th, after walking Keston Hiura and hitting Eric Thames with one out, Kintzler was lifted for Pedro Strop. Strop hit pinch-hitter Ryan Braun on a 1-0 count to load the bases. Following a Jesus Aguilar pop-out to 2nd baseman Robel Garcia, Ben Gamel ripped a line-drive single to right to score Hiura and Thames to put the Brewers ahead 3-2.
In the 9th and Josh Hader in the game to close it out, gave up a one-out single to Kris Bryant, however, Hader retired Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez to end it and give Milwaukee the come-from-behind victory 3-2.
Kintzler suffers the loss and Adrian Houser picks up the win while Josh Hader nabs his 23rd save of the season.
The Cubs loss and Cardinals win push the Cubs into 2nd place in the NL Central and one game behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The Brewers are now one game behind the Northsiders.
Game 2 of this series continues Saturday evening at 6:10 PM with Jon Lester (9-6 3.87) going up against Chase Anderson (5-2 3.90).
IN CUBS NEWS:
- Prior to Friday’s game, the Cubs acquired left-handed reliever Derek Holland and some cash in a trade with the San Francisco Giants. The Giants received cash considerations in return. The Cubs’ left-handed relievers had been struggling against left-handed hitters and Holland is likely to be used in lefty-lefty situations. Lefties are only batting .182 against Holland this season.
- The Cubs recalled outfielder Ian Happ from Triple-A Iowa and designated left-handed reliever Tim Collins for assignment. This will be Happ’s first big league action in 2019.
- Starting pitcher Jon Lester, who missed Wednesday’s start in San Francisco because of an illness will get the start on Saturday instead of the originally scheduled starter, Jose Quintana. Manager Joe Maddon had said the reason for starting Lester instead of Quintana was to get him back on the mound as soon as possible.