Jason Hammel took the mound looking to be the third Chicago Cubs starting pitcher to reach 15 wins this season, as the Cubs looked for win number 90.
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In the middle game of this three-game series in Milwaukee, things starting promising for the Chicago Cubs. First baseman Anthony Rizzo hit a solo homer and gave the Cubs an early 1-0 lead.
Hammel is 10-1 with a 2.50 ERA in his career against the Brewers, but Milwaukee was looking to change that today. Jonathan Villar hit his 13th home run to start the bottom of the first. Things then went downhill from there. After a single by
Santana ripped a liner to left field to score Brawn and Perez. Maldonado then hit a sacrifice fly to extend the Brewers lead to 5-1.
The Cubs (89-49) then got one back in the second inning when Miguel Montero hit his sixth home run of the season.
The Brewers (61-77) added another run in the fourth. After putting the first two men on via a double and a single, a throwing error by Montero caused a run to score. The error happened when Villar was trying to steal second base.
Hammel then settled down until the sixth, when he served up a three-run homer to Ryan Braun. He was pulled after 5 2/3 innings, allowing a season-high 13 hits. He also allowed eight earned runs and may have pitched his way into the postseason bullpen.
Hector Rondon, making his return from the DL, came in and allowed an earned run in the seventh inning. Maddon said he will ease him into the bullpen.
Yet the Cubs, however, did get two back in the eighth, when Rizzo hit his second home run of the game, to make it a 10-4 game. Milwaukee added two more in the eighth off Spencer Patton.
Chicago didn’t go down without a fight in the ninth. After a Montero double, Munenori Kawasaki doubled to make it a 12-5 game. Kawasaki was just recalled today. Final score was 12-4. And the Cardinals beat the Pirates 9-7 so the Cubs magic number remains at 10.
Our North Siders are back in action tomorrow night. Former Cub Matt Garza opposes Mike Montgomery. Montgomery is making his fourth start for the Cubs.