The Milwaukee Brewers are turning into road warriors.
After starting the season by winning just two of their first 15 road series, the Crew is now 5-0-2 in their last seven series away from Miller Park after beating the Chicago Cubs 3-1 at Wrigley Field Sunday.
Yovani Gallardo combined with two relievers to throw a three-hitter at the Cubs, with the only blemish coming in the bottom of the fifth. Junior Lake led off the frame with a solo home run into the bleachers in left field that gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead.
For the Cubs, starter Scott Baker made his first trip to a major league mound since Sept. 24, 2011, and his first start since Aug. 8 of that same year, following Tommy John surgery and he was outstanding, shutting out the Brewers for five innings on just two hits. But the Chicago bullpen couldn’t hold the 1-0 lead it was given.
Milwaukee did all of its damage in the top of the seventh.
With one out, Aramis Ramirez doubled just inside the third-base bag and went to third on Carlos Gomez’s single to right field. Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz threw home, though, missing the cutoff man and allowing Gomez to scoot to second base.
That was a costly mistake.
Chicago manager Dale Sveum brought in left-hander James Russell to relieve righty Justin Grimm and Milwaukee skipper Ron Roenicke countered by sending up Jeff Bianchi to pinch-hit for the lefty-swinging Scooter Gennett. Gennett is hitting .331 overall after a 1-for-2 day Sunday, but is just 2-for-21 against left-handers.
Roenicke pressed the right button. Bianchi bounced a single up the middle to score both Ramirez and Gomez and hustled down to second base when the throw from Lake was well up the third-base line.
Yuniesky Betancourt was intentionally walked to put the double play in order. Logan Schafer grounded a ball to Anthony Rizzo at first base, but they were only able to get Betancourt at second, with Bianchi advancing to third.
Gallardo lined a single to left over the outstretched glove of shortstop Starlin Castro to chase home Bianchi for a 3-1 lead.
Gallardo (11-9) worked seven innings, retiring nine in a row after surrendering Lake’s homer in the fifth. He allowed just the one run on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 17, Gallardo is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in five starts, allowing six runs, five earned, in 33.1 innings.
Brandon Kintzler worked a perfect eighth for the Crew and Jim Henderson got the side out in order in the ninth for his 24th save. The win moves Milwaukee two games ahead of the last-place Cubs in the National League Central. The Crew is now 10-5 against Chicago this season and took six of the nine games played at Wrigley Field.
The Brewers are now 14-8 in their last 22 road games after a 17-32 start; their road record of 31-40 is identical to their mark at Miller Park.
The road trip continues after an off day on Monday, with a three-game series at St. Louis on Tuesday through Thursday. Tyler Thornburg (1-1) is slated to start for the Crew on Tuesday against Cardinals’ right-hander Shelby Miller (12-9). Game time from Busch Stadium is 7:15 p.m. and the game can be seen on Fox Sports Wisconsin.
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