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

a club.”

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.