Cubs hold off Brewers to complete sweep
MILWAUKEE -- Addison Russell smacked a solo home run to back Clayton Richard, who helped himself by hitting an RBI double, leading the Cubs to a 4-3 victory Sunday over the Brewers to complete a four-game sweep.
With the win, the Cubs now are 10 games over .500 (57-47).
"It's good to get 10 plus," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "The goal then is to get 15."
Making his fourth start with the Cubs, Richard scattered five hits over six innings. The lefty also doubled in the fourth, his first hit in eight at-bats with the team.
The Brewers now have lost each of Kyle Lohse's last five starts, and he has taken the loss in four of them. This is the first time the Cubs have swept a four-game series against the Brewers since July 28-31, 2008, at Miller Park.
The Cubs had a minor scare in the fifth when rookie Kris Bryant had to leave after a headfirst slide into second base. Bryant was dizzy and removed as a precautionary measure.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Second to none: Russell seems to have caught a second wind since the All-Star break. Since the time off, the rookie is batting .286 (16-for-56), including his home run with two outs in the second. He now has 28 RBIs, and 18 of those have come with two outs. More >
"I'm seeing the ball well," Russell said. "Even my outs are aggressive."
Double-double: Ryan Braun collected two doubles in his first two at-bats, giving him 19 on the season. He picked up Milwaukee's first hit of the game with a sharp grounder that narrowly stayed inside the first-base bag and smacked a one-hopper off the left-field wall two innings later. It was the 31st time in Braun's career hitting two doubles in a game and second time this season. The Brewers were unable to drive Braun in, though, continuing their recent offensive woes.
"You take away three of our best five or six hitters, it's going to make it more challenging," Braun said speaking of Carlos Gomez, Gerardo Parra and Aramis Ramirez who were traded in July. "But I think for all of us you have to embrace the challenge."
Start me up: Recalled from Triple-A Iowa on Sunday, Richard made the most of his start, his fourth with the Cubs. The lefty will be reassigned to make room on the roster for recently acquired starter Dan Haren. Richard also hit an RBI double in the fourth. Haren was not available because his last start with the Marlins was Thursday. He'll make his Cubs debut Wednesday against the Pirates.
"I'm along for the ride," the lefty said. "I'll go wherever they tell me. Hopefully, I keep getting opportunities and will try to make the most of them. I really have no control over when that is. I'll do my best to prepare for whenever that is."
Short outing: Lohse's 4 1/3 innings was his third-shortest start of the season and Chicago's four runs off the right-hander raised his ERA to 6.31. Russell's home run was the 25th Lohse has allowed in 2015, ranking him second in the National League behind Colorado's Kyle Kendrick. He's surrendered at least one homer in 19 of his 22 starts. More >
"Immediately after I came out, I went back and watched to see what different things I could do," Lohse said. "They just hit a lot of balls down, off the end of the bat. Maybe I could've pitched in a little more, but really that's the style I've been doing."
"It's great what we did here. We've been playing well. We got the Phillies at the wrong moment, otherwise we've been OK. We catch Milwaukee at the right time when they're making adjustments." -- Maddon
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Sunday was the Cubs' 41st game decided by one run this season, tied with the Cardinals for the most in the Major Leagues. Chicago is 24-17 in one-run games.
Bryant hit an RBI single in the fifth inning but then slid headfirst into second base and had to leave the game because he was feeling dizzy. He was to be re-evaluated on Monday. More >
"It was a hard play," Bryant said. "I was going as hard as I can, hustled in there. I'm feeling better and we'll see what it feels like tomorrow."
The Cubs lost a challenge and Maddon in the third when he was ejected. With two outs, the Brewers had a runner at second when Adam Lind hit a ball to shortstop Starlin Castro. Castro made a diving stop, spun, and threw to first from his knees, and Lind was called safe. Maddon challenged the call, but after a review, it was confirmed. Maddon came out of the dugout to question the review, and crew chief Hunter Wendelstedt ejected the manager. More >
The Brewers lost their seventh challenge of the season in the fifth inning. Bryant lined a 2-2 pitch off Lohse into center that drove in Kyle Schwarber. Bryant attempted to take second on the throw to the plate from Shane Peterson, which was cut off by Lind. Bryant was ruled safe on a close play after Lind's throw and, after a challenge from manager Craig Counsell, the call stood. Bryant had to leave the game after the headfirst slide into second. It was Milwaukee's 21st challenge this season.
Cubs: Jon Lester will start Monday in what could be a big week for the Cubs, who face the two teams ahead of them in the Wild Card race, beginning with the Pirates. Lester went 2-2 with a 1.66 ERA in July, and went at least seven innings in each of his starts. First pitch will be 6:05 p.m. CT.
Brewers: Wily Peralta will make his second start Monday since returning from the disabled list, when Milwaukee plays the Padres for the first time this season. Peralta showed no signs of rust in his last outing, allowing two runs over six innings against the Giants. His first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CT at Miller Park.
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