MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brandon Woodruff pitched another gem and the Milwaukee Brewers made the most of their two hits, hanging on to edge the Chicago Cubs 2-1 Tuesday night for their season-high seventh straight win.
A day after battering Chicago 14-4, the Brewers extended their NL Central lead to five games. The second-place Cubs lost their fifth in a row.
Milwaukee managed to win with just an RBI double by Christian Yelich in the first inning and an RBI single by Jace Peterson in the fourth. Both runs were walked aboard by Zach Davies (5-5), making his first start against his former team.
Woodruff (7-3) allowed one run on four hits in six innings, striking out eight and nudging his ERA down from 1.89 to 1.87.
Brent Suter and Jake Cousins pitched the seventh, Brad Boxberger worked the eighth and Josh Hader finished for his 20th save in 20 opportunities.
Hader allowed a one-out single to Joc Pederson and walked Willson Contreras, but then struck out Javier Baez got pinch-hitter Jose Lobaton on a bouncer to first.
Davies gave up two runs on two hits with three walks in four innings. Davies won 43 games in his five seasons with Milwaukee, including a 17-9 record in 2017, before being traded to San Diego following the 2019 season.
Chicago tied it in the fourth when Baez tripled and Patrick Wisdom delivered a one-out double. Jason Heyward walked, but Woodruff struck out Sergio Alcantara and got Eric Sogard on a pop out.
The Cubs loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but failed to capitalize. Cousins relieved with a runner on first and two outs and walked Contreras and hit Baez with a pitch, but then struck out Ian Happ.
Cubs: Kris Bryant, bothered by a sore right side sustained while diving for a ball Monday against the Dodgers, was not in the lineup. 1B Anthony Rizzo, who left Saturday’s game against Los Angeles with a tight lower back, also was out, but is improving, manager David Ross said.
Brewers: 2B Kolten Wong, bothered by left calf tightness, took groundballs and batting practice, but was out of the lineup for the third straight game. “We’re going to avoid the injured list here, I think we kind of know that at this point, but as far as his availability or starting a game tomorrow, no decisions on that yet,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
Selected LHP Adam Morgan from Triple-A Iowa and RHP pitcher Trevor Megill was optioned to Iowa. INF Matt Duffy was transferred to the 60-day injured list. RHP Ryan Tepera was placed on 10-day IL (left calf strain). RHP Tommy Nance was recalled from Iowa. Morgan relieved to start the eighth inning.
Brewers will opt for a bullpen game for Wednesday’s afternoon series finale, but no starter has yet been named. RHP Jake Arrieta (5-8, 5:32 ERA) starts for the Cubs.