One day after being blanked by the rival Milwaukee, the Chicago Cubs responded by beating the Brewers 8-4 on Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
Junior Guerra entered the game with a career 1.74 ERA against the Cubs, but he allowed seven runs and nine hits before departing in the fourth.
Ryan Braun, who clubbed two home runs just one day earlier, left Wednesday’s game with a tight right ribcage. It comes after Braun had been swinging a hot bat. He had been hitting .388 with four HR’s and 12 RBI over the last 16 games.
The Cubs scored four runs in the first three innings against Guerra. Anthony Rizzo lined a two-run home run in the first. Jason Heyward doubled in a run in the third, followed by David Bote scoring on a Guerra wild pitch to make it 4-0.
It could have been a three-run deficit if manager Craig Counsell would have challenged a safe call at first base. Replay showed that Guerra picked up Eric Thames booted grounder and tagged Rizzo before he reached the bag. Guerra also thought he tagged Rizzo in time, but no challenge came from it.
The Brewers closed the gap in the fourth with two-out back-to-back doubles by Travis Shaw and Jonathan Schoop. Eric Thames then singled , scoring Schoop to make it 4-2 Cubs.
But the Cubs bounced back in the bottom half of the inning, plating three runs on five singles. The Brewers use of the shift hurt them this time, as well as their new defensive alignment which featured Schoop at shortstop and Shaw at second base. Schoop continues to get plenty of playing time, despite his hitting .159 since being acquired from Baltimore back on July 31st. Schoop has no home runs, only three RBI and has struck out 17 times in 44 at-bats.
The Brewers dropped back three games behind the Cubs in the Central Division and now have just a one game lead on the hard charging St. Louis Cardinals. St. Louis beat Washington 4-2 to extend their win streak to eight games. The Cardinals will host the Brewers in the first of a three game series on Friday night in St. Louis.
The Brewers also saw Manny Pina leave the game after he suffered a jammed shoulder. The Brewers have sent him back to Milwaukee to be examined to determine the severity of the injury and whether or not he’ll have to miss any time.