CHICAGO -- Mission accomplished for the Brewers. Travis Shaw smacked a two-run homer to back Zach Davies, who won his Major League-leading 17th game, and lift the Brewers to a 3-1 victory over the Cubs on Sunday. With the win, Milwaukee completed a sweep of the weekend series, and it
CHICAGO -- Mission accomplished for the Brewers. Travis Shaw smacked a two-run homer to back Zach Davies, who won his Major League-leading 17th game, and lift the Brewers to a 3-1 victory over the Cubs on Sunday. With the win, Milwaukee completed a sweep of the weekend series, and it is now two games behind Chicago in the National League Central.
"We know what needs to be done, and we've been through it," Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks said. "Nothing needs to be said. ... We're all on the same page. We just have to win ballgames."
Shaw's homer with one out in the sixth inning off Hendricks snapped a 1-1 tie. Milwaukee leads the season series, 8-7, and these two teams will meet one more time, from Sept. 21-24, at Miller Park in what could be a crucial series.
"That's about as good as I can hit a ball. … That might be close to the third deck at home," said Shaw, a reference to the wind off Lake Michigan, which played a factor in all three games. "We needed a sweep. Now we need to make sure we carry this [forward]."
Said Cubs manager Joe Maddon: "Shaw beating the wind like that, that's pretty impressive."
Davies struck out six and scattered seven hits over seven innings to improve to 6-2 in his past eight road starts. The Brewers' three starters in the series -- Jimmy Nelson, Chase Anderson and Davies -- combined to give up one earned run over 17 innings while striking out 18. The sputtering Cubs were outscored, 20-3, in the three games.
"We aren't hitting," Maddon said. "We came off winning two in a row in Pittsburgh and before that, we won six in a row, and in this series, we chose not to hit. Hopefully, we'll start hitting soon."
Hendricks notched his sixth consecutive quality start but took the loss, and the Cubs ended their string of 20 consecutive games at 11-9. Besides having a day off Monday, the Cubs can look forward to the return of Willson Contreras. Contreras, out since Aug. 11, pinch-hit in the seventh but struck out.
The Brewers had lost three in a row to the Reds before they arrived in Chicago. This was their first three-game sweep of the Cubs at Wrigley Field since May 9-12, 2002.
"That was a big thing, coming here into their ballpark and showing we can compete," Davies said. "It's going to make [the rest of] September very interesting and fun to play for."
The defending World Series champion Cubs are still in first place in the division.
"September baseball is fun," Chicago rookie Ian Happ said. "The next few weeks will be a blast."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Taking advantage: Happ walked to lead off the Chicago second and advanced on Javier Baez's sacrifice. One out later, Rene Rivera lined the ball to right, which Hernan Perez should've caught, but misplayed. Rivera was credited with a double and Happ scored to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead.
Happ said Davies was tough.
"He does a good job of keeping the ball out of the middle and has a lot of movement both ways," Happ said. "That big, slow curveball kind of offsets everything else."
Surprise:Ryan Braun bunted to lead off the Brewers' fourth, and was safe, his first bunt hit since 2014. Hendricks walked Shaw, and both Braun and Shaw advanced on Perez's sacrifice. Braun then scored on Stephen Vogt's groundout to second to tie the game at 1.
"My take on the day was there was not going to be home runs hit," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "One, with the wind, and two, seeing the swings both teams were taking off [Davies and Hendricks]. … I think the only ball we hit hard off Hendricks was the ball Travis hit. I thought it was going to be very difficult to score. I thought one run was going to be a big deal, to get it tied up. I thought we had the right guys to execute it."
"This was kind of our last stand here this weekend. If they win the series, the division is going to be out of reach, I think, So it was huge sweep for us." -- Shaw
"We've been in so many different ballgames and so many different situations between this year and last year. We know what we need to do. As far as attitude, team demeanor, grinding pitch to pitch, we're doing what we can." -- Hendricks
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Cubs were swept at home for the third time this season and first time since May 5-7 vs. the Yankees.
• Cubs 'know what we need to do' at plate
Brewers: The Brewers return to Miller Park for a quick, three-game homestand against the Pirates. Brandon Woodruff will make his fifth Major League start in Monday's 6:40 p.m. CT opener opposite Pittsburgh's Steven Brault.
Cubs: After an off-day Monday, the Cubs open a six-game homestand on Tuesday, beginning with the Mets. Jose Quintana will make his 11th start for the Cubs. He's coming off a no-decision against the Pirates in which he threw six scoreless innings. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT at Wrigley Field.
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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.