Rizzo continues to torment Brewers
MILWAUKEE -- Anthony Rizzo belted his fourth homer in as many games, a three-run shot in the third, and rookie Kyle Schwarber added a solo home run to power the Cubs to a 4-2 victory Saturday night over the Brewers for their fourth straight win.
Kyle Hendricks scattered four hits over seven-plus innings for the win, his first since July 5. In his 21 starts, the right-hander has 11 no-decisions, the most by any pitcher in the Majors.
The Cubs are keeping pace in the National League Wild Card race.
"We're definitely confident," Hendricks said. "Guys are swinging it now. We're keeping runs off the board. We feel really confident right now against who we're playing. We have to keep that rolling through August and September."
Matt Garza took the loss against his former team and manager. The right-hander gave up four hits over six innings, including Rizzo's blast. The Brewers now have lost seven of their last eight games, scoring 11 runs with one homer in that stretch.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
20-20 vision: Rizzo is the first Cubs player to homer in four straight games since Alfonso Soriano did so April 30-May 4, 2010. However, Schwarber should probably get an assist. With two out in the third, Schwarber battled Garza in an 11-pitch at-bat and eventually singled. Garza then walked Chris Coghlan and Rizzo then launched the first pitch he saw to right for his 20th home run and a 3-0 lead. It was his 13th career homer against the Brewers, the most against any team.
"Those are the kind of moments that can get you on the roll you're looking for," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. More >
Small ball: The Brewers scraped a run across in the fourth when Khris Davis poked a 3-2 pitch into center field off Hendricks. Ryan Braun opened the inning reaching base via a hit by pitch, moved to second on Adam Lind's fielder's choice and then scored on Davis' poke. Milwaukee's offense has nosedived after a hot start in July, scoring a meager 17 runs in its last 10 games.
"I don't think we're playing poorly, we're just not swinging the bats well enough," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
Kid stuff: Schwarber has only played seven games at Wrigley Field, but so far, he's done much better on the road. With his fourth home run with two outs in the seventh, the rookie is now batting .382 (21-for-55) on the road, which includes going 13-for-26 in seven games in his home state of Ohio against the Reds and Indians. Veteran catcher Miguel Montero begins a rehab assignment on Sunday, but when he returns, Schwarber is going to stay. Maddon said Saturday he wants to keep the rookie's bat in the lineup.
"I'm going to keep working my butt off to stay up here and help contribute to this team win," Schwarber said. More >
Damage control: Rizzo's homer was the big blow to Garza's outing, but the right-hander found himself having to escape multiple jams. In the sixth, he walked Kris Bryant with one out and Jorge Soler followed with a single. Garza was able to escape by inducing a ground out off the bat of Starlin Castro and striking out Hendricks. Garza issued four free passes in six innings of work. More >
"My stuff was fine. I was throwing the ball really hard and I was spotting it. Just one pitch. Like I said, that's the way the year is going." -- Garza, on his performance
"I've been looking forward to August the whole year. We're home for a long time. It's hot in August. I enjoy the hot weather. We know what can happen at Wrigley when it warms up. I've been saying that all along to everyone -- we're going to have a big August." -- Rizzo
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Cubs are 39-10 in 49 games when the starting pitcher posts a quality start, and 13-32 in the games when they do not. Cubs starters have a 29-5 record and 1.50 ERA in the 49 quality starts.
New Cubs reliever Tommy Hunter made his debut in the ninth inning, and he retired the two batters he faced to pick up his first save since May 9, 2014. The right-hander was 0-for-1 in save situations this season with the Orioles. More >
Cubs: Clayton Richard will be called on to start the series finale against the Brewers. This will be Richard's fourth start with the Cubs. The lefty's last outing with the Cubs was July 20, when he gave up three runs over 5 2/3 innings against the Reds. He's made four starts at Miller Park, and he is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. CT.
Brewers: Kyle Lohse survived the non-waiver Trade Deadline and will start for Milwaukee in the series finale on Sunday. The right-hander has been bitten by the long ball this season, having allowed at least one homer in 18 of his 21 starts. Lohse did manage to reach the seventh inning in his last outing, but it was just the third time since May 15.
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