The Milwaukee Brewers made a pair of errors that led to four unearned runs in the third inning and the Chicago Cubs took the rubber game of the three-game series on Thursday afternoon with a 7-2 victory at Miller Park.
The Cubs capitalized when Dioner Navarro blasted his seventh home run of the season into the right-field seats to give Chicago a 6-0 lead.
Brewers starter Wily Navarro gutted out five innings, surrendering eight hits and seven runs—just three of them earned—while walking one and fanning two. He fell to 5-9 with the loss and his ERA rose to 5.58.
Matt Garza was almost untouchable early. The Cubs’ starter and subject of many trade rumors struck out a career-high 10 in seven innings of work while improving to 3-1 on the season. Eight of Garza’s strikeouts were in the first four innings as the Cubs built a 7-0 lead.
The Brewers had some chances, but were unable to capitalize. Pinch-hitter Sean Halton—making his major league debut—singled through the hole between third base and shortstop with two outs in the fifth and Rickie Weeks bounced a single off the second-base bag, but Norichika Aoki flew out to end the threat.
In the sixth inning, Jean Segura and Aramis Ramirez led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Ramirez, however, was thrown out at second base after getting a late jump when a pitch in the dirt got away from Cub catcher Navarro. Juan Francisco struck out two pitches later. Milwaukee did manufacture its first run on a double into the right-field corner by Logan Schafer.
The Brewers’ only other run came on an opposite field homer to left by Francisco with one out in the eighth. For Francisco, it was his third consecutive game with a solo home run.
For Gindl, it was his second error in as many games and sloppy defense also led to Chicago’s first score. Ryan Sweeney appeared to have been caught stealing after leading off the second inning with a single, but Segura dropped Martin Maldonado’s throw. One out later, Brian Bogusevic doubled to left field to plate Sweeney.
Bogusevic later scored when Peralta couldn’t handle a broken-bat liner by Darwin Barney. The ball glanced off Peralta’s glove for an RBI single.
Chicago got its last run in the fourth when Nate Schierholtz hit a sacrifice fly to right field after Garza singles and Luis Valbuena singled to start the inning and moved into scoring position on a groundout by Starlin Castro.
A positive for the Brewers was four shutout innings from the bullpen. Brandon Kintzler pitched two scoreless frames, Jim Henderson blanked the Cubs in the eighth and Francisco Rodriguez had a 1-2-3 ninth.
Weeks extended his hitting streak to 11 games, a career-high, and Segura has now hit safely in 10 consecutive games. For Segura, it is his second 10-game streak this month—he has hits in 20 of his last 21 games.
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