Ryan Braun’s first inning two-run home run powered the Milwaukee Brewers to a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the series opener at Wrigley Field on Friday night.
The Brewers are hoping victory doesn’t come with a price. Starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson was forced to leave the game after five innings after a slide back into a base left him with right-arm soreness. Nelson will undergo tests today.
Braun’s home run was his 15th this season and 300th of his career, making him the 12th active player in the major leagues to reach that mark.
Nelson (12-6) ended up allowing four hits and two walks while striking out seven. The Brewers are hoping he won’t have to miss any starts.
The win is the 73rd of the season for the Brewers, which matches the victory total from 2016 (73-89), with 21 games left to play. The Brewers remain tied with St. Louis for second place in the NL Central, four games behind the division leading Cubs.
Josh Hader pitched two perfect innings of relief before walking the leadoff man in the 8th. Anthony Swarzak got three outs in the eighth and Corey Knebel pitched a scoreless ninth for his 33rd save.
Chase Anderson (8-3, 3.06) pitches game two of the series this afternoon, facing Chicago’s Mike Montgomery (5-7, 3.38).
AUDIO: Ryan Braun on his 300th career HR :19
AUDIO: Craig Counsell on Braun’s 300th HR :12