CHICAGO (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers played three series against the Chicago Cubs in April, and won each one.
Not bad at all.
“We’ve done our jobs,” manager Craig Counsell said.
Brandon Woodruff outdueled Jake Arrieta with six dominant innings, and the NL Central-leading Brewers beat the Cubs 6-0 on Sunday.
Woodruff (2-0) allowed two hits, struck out eight and walked two in his first win in 11 career appearances against Chicago. The 6-foot-4 right-hander has permitted one run and six hits in 19 innings covering three starts against the Cubs this year.
“There’s the familiarity there of just facing the guys,” Woodruff said. “Obviously they’ve seen me a lot. I’ve seen them. I think the biggest thing it just comes down to is executing pitches.”
Luis Urías hit a two-run single during Milwaukee’s five-run ninth, helping the Brewers close out a 5-1 road trip. They also improved to 6-3 against the Cubs with 10 games left in their season series against the reigning NL Central champions.
Chicago finished with four hits, wasting a solid performance by Arrieta on a cold, windy day at Wrigley Field. The game-time temperature was 44 degrees, and the crowd of 10,343 bundled up in jackets, hooded sweatshirts and blankets.
“It was freezing out there,” Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong said.
Arrieta kept the Cubs in the game with six innings of two-hit ball. The right-hander struck out eight and walked three.
Milwaukee got its first run on Travis Shaw’s bases-loaded walk in the first. Arrieta retired 15 in a row after the Brewers’ first four batters reached safely.
The Brewers put runners on second and third with no outs in the sixth, but Arrieta (3-2) escaped by striking out Shaw, Keston Hiura and Billy McKinney.
“The mindset after the first was to get weak contact, try to preserve the pitch count, pitch as deep as I could into the ballgame,” Arrieta said. “And then, I ran into a tough spot there in the sixth and found a way out of it.”
Woodruff retired his first nine batters. Ian Happ walked and David Bote singled in the fourth for Chicago’s first baserunners, but Anthony Rizzo struck out and the Brewers turned an inning-ending double play when Kris Bryant struck out and Happ was caught stealing third.
Rizzo also struck out for the final out of the sixth, leaving a runner on third.
“Hit a couple balls hard right at guys early on,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “Found some ways to get runners on, just couldn’t really get the line moving too much. That’s kind of how the story goes sometimes when you’re facing an ace on the other side.”
Brewers infielder Daniel Robertson was shaken up after he was beaned by a fastball from Jason Adam in the ninth inning. He scored on Wong’s double and then was replaced in the field before the Cubs batted in the bottom half.
“He was feeling OK,” Counsell said. “But at the same time, you take a ball in the head, and we’ve got to be cautious and we’ve got to kind of stay on top of it and make sure we monitor it closely.”
Cubs reliever Ryan Tepera had his three-game suspension for throwing at Woodruff reduced to two games. He began serving the penalty on Sunday. The 33-year-old Tepera threw a pitch behind Woodruff in the fifth inning of Chicago’s 3-2 victory at Milwaukee on April 13.
Brewers: An MRI on OF Christian Yelich (lower back strain) showed no major issues. The 2018 NL MVP hasn’t played since April 11. “We basically just ruled out anything significant structurally that would show up on the MRI,” Counsell said. … CF Lorenzo Cain (quadriceps strain) worked out on the field Saturday, and Counsell said it went well. … RF Avisaíl García returned to the starting lineup. He rested Saturday after he left the series opener with back tightness.
Cubs: LF Joc Pederson (left wrist tendinitis) has made “some really good progress in the last two days,” Ross said. Pederson could begin taking some swings on Tuesday or Wednesday at the team’s alternate site in South Bend, Indiana.
Brewers: RHP Corbin Burnes (2-1, 0.37 ERA) starts Monday in the opener of a three-game series against Miami. Burnes has 40 strikeouts and no walks in 24 1/3 innings so far this year. LHP Trevor Rogers (2-1, 1.64 ERA) goes for the visiting Marlins.
Cubs: RHP Zach Davies (1-2, 8.80 ERA) faces Atlanta RHP Charlie Morton (1-1, 3.91 ERA) on Monday in the opener of a four-game series at the Braves.