Halton, Thornburg lead Brewers past Cubs, 7-0
After struggling in the minors during the first half of the
season, Tyler Thornburg’s turnaround since being called up to the
majors by the Milwaukee Brewers has been remarkable.
Sean Halton hit his first career grand slam and Thornburg
allowed just two singles over six innings, leading the Brewers to a
7-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night.
Thornburg (3-1) struck out four and walked two as he reached six
innings for the sixth straight start since being recalled from
Triple A Nashville on June 29. He has allowed five earned runs in
36 innings as a starter and has also made 11 relief appearances for
the Brewers, posting a 1.96 ERA. At Nashville, he was 0-9 with a
5.79 ERA in 15 starts.
”He has been good in relief, he’s been really good as a
starter,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. ”It’s hard to
explain. I know it’s an excuse, but I heard he had the worst luck
you could have at Triple-A, but I wasn’t there.
”He’s confident. He gets a little wild at times and then comes
back and makes great pitches. He has three really good pitches: a
really good fastball, a good curveball and a great change-up. He
can mix in the two off-speed pitches, depending on which is going
well that day, and when you can do that and you have a lot of life
on your fastball, you’ll pitch like he did today.”
Jimmy Nelson pitched two innings and Michael Blazek got the last
three outs to preserve the four-hit shutout.
Thornburg put most of the blame for his ineffectiveness at
Nashville on himself.
”I was a little upset being in Triple-A,” said Thornburg, who
made three starts in eight appearances last season with the
Brewers. ”Honestly I was kicking myself a little bit too much.
Doing things I wouldn’t necessarily do. Up here I stuck with my
three good pitches and I am really trying to improve those.”
Halton’s homer capped a five-run first inning off Chris Rusin
(2-5). Jean Segura walked with one out and advanced to second on
Jonathan Lucroy’s single. Aramis Ramirez singled in Segura. After
Carlos Gomez flied out, Khris Davis walked to load the bases.
Halton then drove a 3-2 pitch 370 feet over the right-field wall
for his fourth home run.
”It is just one of things,” said Halton, who also hit a
three-run game-ending homer Sunday to give the Brewers a 6-5
victory over the Reds. ”In a couple months I will sit back and
look (and say) that was a crazy week. It is unbelievable to get an
opportunity to be in those situations let alone come through in
Davis led off the fourth inning with his 10th home run to put
the Brewers up 6-0.
Milwaukee added a run in the fifth when reliever Alberto Cabrera
hit Norichika Aoki, Ramirez walked and Gomez followed with an RBI
double. Davis walked to load the bases again for Halton, but he
struck out to end the inning.
Ryan Sweeney was the only Cubs runner to reach second base with
a double in the seventh off Nelson. The Cubs have lost seven of
their last eight and are just 15-34 since July 29.
”When I needed to make a pitch, I left it up and they hit it
out of the yard,” said Rusin. ”Those are the games you’ve just
got to learn from. Just keep the ball down is what I keep telling
myself. But that first inning really hurt the team. Just took the
life out of us. As a starting pitcher, you don’t want to do that to
NOTES: Brewers SS Segura left the game after the first inning
with what the team announced as a strained right hamstring. He is
listed as day-to-day. ”It’s not bad but saying that, we’ll see how
many days it’s going to be,” Roenicke said. ”If he walks in here
tomorrow and hardly feels anything, then we have a chance to get
him back out there.” … The Brewers improved to 13-5 this season
against the Cubs. Since 2011, they hold a 36-15 advantage.