CHICAGO -- Kristopher Bryant hit two of the Cubs' four home runs in a 13-6 rout of the Brewers on Sunday at Wrigley Field, making it clear the defending World Series champions do not intend to let upstart Milwaukee run away with the National League Central.
Benjamin Zobrist and Anthony Rizzo also homered, and Willson Contreras collected three hits and three RBIs as the Cubs scored in every inning but the second to back Jacob Arrieta for a split of the rain-shortened series. Chicago remained two games behind first-place Milwaukee by handing the Brewers only the third loss in their past 13 games.
Three of the Cubs' four games with at least 14 hits -- they finished with 15 hits on Sunday -- have come at the Brewers' expense.
"I think we were due as a team offensively," Bryant said. "We haven't really been doing much early on here, so I think it was a matter of time for us."
Milwaukee starter Chase Anderson remained winless in six starts since his April 17 victory here, allowing six earned runs on seven hits in four-plus innings -- marking the third time in four May starts that Anderson couldn't clear the fifth. All three Cubs home runs off Anderson led off an inning; Zobrist in the first, Bryant in the third and Bryant again in the fifth.
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The Brewers were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and trailed, 13-1, before striking for five runs against Dylan Floro in a ninth inning highlighted by Travis Shaw's two-run home run.
"It got away from us a little today, but that happens. They've got a good team," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "But, good road trip, 4-2 on the road trip. I think we've had three road trips, and .500 or above on every one. That's a good sign."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bend but don't break: The Brewers were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position in six innings against Arrieta, who surrendered three singles, a walk and a hit batsman, committed an error and threw three wild pitches over his final three innings of work alone. But despite those moving pieces, the Brewers managed only one run. Milwaukee stranded a runner on third base in each of Arrieta's final three innings including the fifth, when the Brewers loaded the bases with no outs. Arrieta retired Eric Thames on a run-scoring groundout, Ryan Braun on an infield popup and Shaw on a swinging strikeout to limit the damage. Shaw, the Brewers' leader with 34 RBIs, spiked his bat and helmet in the dirt after fanning at an outside changeup.
"We just weren't able to get big hits in big situations," said Braun, who finished 0-for-5 in his return from a 10-day stint on the disabled list for arm and calf injuries. "You know that you're going to have these games from time to time." More >
Rizzo's exclamation point: The Cubs kept piling on in the eighth against Brewers reliever Jared Hughes, tacking on four more runs with a two-out rally extended when Bryant was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game. With Rizzo up next, Hughes fired the Brewers' second run-scoring wild pitch, then found the strike zone with a sinker that Rizzo blasted for a two-run home run. Hughes never did escape the inning; he was lifted after Contreras hit Hughes' 30th pitch for an RBI single.
"The 13-run pool, whoever won that today, congratulations," Cubs manager Joe Maddon joked after the game. "I believe firmly that we're going to hit. Again, not at a 13-run level. We're going to hit."
"This is where we made our hay last year, at Wrigley. We have not played that well here yet this year. I anticipate, expect that we will. We've done better in this homestand, but we're still not playing our best baseball. I mean that was a nice, 13-run game, whatever, but my perfectionism comes into fundamentals of the game. That's what I like to see." -- Maddon
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Bryant reached base five times in Sunday's game for the 10th time in his career, but what was most remarkable was how he did it. According to baseball-reference.com's Play Index, he became the first Cubs player since at least 1913 with two home runs and two hit-by-pitches in a single game.
"I feel like the name of the game now is get on base any way you can," Bryant said, starting to crack a smile. "Getting hit with two pitches is just as good as any other walk."
When the Brewers last visited Wrigley Field in April, Thames was riding the five-game home run streak that made him one of Major League Baseball's most compelling early-season stories. He has been a different player in May, hobbled by persistent leg tightness that popped up again Sunday, as Thames was removed from the game with cramping after hobbling to first on his run-scoring groundout.
"I'm just infuriated with myself a little bit," Thames said. More >
Brewers:Jimmy Nelson had been preparing to pitch Sunday against the Cubs, but a weekend rainout at Wrigley Field pushed the right-hander two more days to Tuesday's 6:40 p.m. CT start against the Blue Jays at Miller Park. The Brewers swept the Jays in two games at Rogers Centre in April, but Nelson did not appear in that series.
Cubs: The Cubs will continue on with the current homestand, taking on the Giants Monday evening at 7:05 p.m. CT. Right-hander John Lackey (4-3, 4.37 ERA) will get the ball for the series opener. He's struggled at times this year, posting just three quality starts, but he has had some recent success against his Monday opponent. In 2016, the Cubs won both of Lackey's starts against the Giants, including one in the postseason.
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