Brewers beat up Lester, top Cubs 8-5 to narrow WC lead

The Milwaukee Brewers had a final chance this weekend to deal direct damage to the Chicago Cubs' grasp on the second NL wild card, and they didn't waste it.

Posted: Sep 8, 2019 7:45 PM

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers had a final chance this weekend to deal direct damage to the Chicago Cubs' grasp on the second NL wild card, and they didn't waste it.

Tyler Austin drove a pinch-hit, three-run homer during the Brewers' five-run fourth inning against Jon Lester, and Milwaukee beat the Chicago Cubs 8-5 Sunday to earn another series victory. The Brewers took 3 of 4 at home a week after winning 2 of 3 at Wrigley Field, and that pulled them within two games of the Cubs for the second wild card with three weeks left in the regular season.

''I think that's what we had to do at a minimum, just to get a little bit closer,'' Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. ''And, we did it.''

Cubs manager Joe Maddon was succinct in his assessment.

''They beat us. They absolutely beat us,'' he said. ''They deserved to win. We didn't. We've got to put it in the rearview mirror quickly.''

The Cardinals are 4 1/2 games ahead of Chicago for the NL Central lead. The Arizona Diamondbacks lost to the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 and are a 1/2 game ahead of Milwaukee in the wild-card chase.

''We've got our work cut out for us, but we've put ourselves in a very good position,'' Counsell said.

Staked to a 3-1 lead, Lester (12-10) allowed RBI hits to Ryan Braun and Hernan Perez before Austin delivered his fourth pinch homer this season. Eric Thames added a solo shot off Lester in the sixth, and pinch-hitter Tyrone Taylor added an RBI single off Duane Underwood Jr. for his first major league hit.

Lester second guessed himself on his approach to Austin.

''That's a big turning point, anytime you give a three-run homer,'' Lester said. ''Hard to come back from.''

Milwaukee's Brent Suter (1-0) followed starter Adrian Houser and pitched scoreless ball across the fifth and sixth innings.

Jason Heyward hit a two-run homer off Milwaukee reliever Jimmy Nelson in the top of the ninth. With one out and a runner on, Brewers manager Craig Counsell brought on closer Josh Hader, who pitched the final two innings and got the win Saturday night. Hader struck out the final two batters for his 29th save in 35 chances Sunday.

Cubs shortstop Addison Russell was hit in the face by a 94 mph fastball from Houser. He fell to his knees, holding his head, but eventually was able to compose himself and walk to first base accompanied by Maddon and two trainers.

Russell keyed a three-run rally before Ian Happ replaced him in the field. Russell stole second with a head-first slide and later scored on right fielder Christian Yelich's throwing error. Lester and Ben Zobrist each had a run-scoring double.

Russell was pulled in a precautionary move. He has a nasal contusion and is under evaluation for a possible concussion. He will travel with the team to San Diego.

The Cubs are already missing two-time All-Star shortstop Javier Baez, who is out indefinitely with a hairline fracture in his left thumb. David Bote might fill in for Russell if he misses time.

Lester allowed eight runs and seven hits, walked three and struck out seven in 5 1/3 innings.

Danny Hultzen, in his long-awaited major league debut, hit Yelich in the left hand with a 94 mph slider that deflected and hit plate umpire Will Little just above his right knee. Catcher Willson Contreras caught Little as he turned and buckled over. After a brief delay, Little went back behind the plate. A 64-second review confirmed that Yelich had been hit.

Hultzen was the second overall pick by Seattle in the 2011 draft but was beset by injuries in the minors. Each of the first 29 players selected that year have now appeared in a major league game.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cubs: 3B Kris Bryant got the game off. He's been dealing with a sore right knee for more than two months. He added to the aggravation by fouling a pitch from Hader off his right leg in the eighth inning of Saturday's loss.

Brewers: RHP Brandon Woodruff (left oblique strain) threw a bullpen and is ready to face live hitters.

UP NEXT

Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (9-9, 3.39 ERA) makes his 27th start of the season and 15th on the road Monday night against RHP Cal Quantrill (6-6, 3.45 ERA) and the San Diego Padres. Cubs are 3-0 in his last three starts.

Brewers: RHP Jordan Lyles (10-8, 4.46 ERA) makes his second career appearance and first start against RHP Robert Dugger (0-1, 4.00 ERA) and Miami at Marlins Park on Monday night.

West Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 54°
Kokomo
Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 59°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 52°
Fowler
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 54°
Williamsport
Mostly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 54°
Crawfordsville
Mostly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 55°
Frankfort
Mostly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 55°
Delphi
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 53°
Monticello
Mostly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 53°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 55°
Cloudy, windy and cooler
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1003647

Reported Deaths: 16423
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1351072116
Lake661851159
Allen57674800
Hamilton46217464
St. Joseph44210611
Elkhart35807508
Vanderburgh32162480
Tippecanoe27859258
Johnson25007444
Hendricks23795357
Porter22856365
Madison18694408
Clark18505252
Vigo17393303
Monroe15218199
LaPorte15101250
Delaware15024261
Howard14681289
Kosciusko12260147
Hancock11682175
Bartholomew11548180
Warrick11270189
Floyd11059214
Wayne10946253
Grant10019219
Morgan9438176
Boone8891116
Dubois8249131
Dearborn819893
Henry8174152
Noble8003106
Marshall7891135
Cass7519121
Lawrence7433171
Shelby7171119
Jackson695889
Gibson6567115
Harrison646691
Huntington636899
Knox6360106
DeKalb628699
Montgomery6229109
Miami591498
Putnam577678
Clinton572171
Whitley563455
Steuben558976
Wabash5309103
Jasper527879
Jefferson509297
Ripley498686
Adams479775
Daviess4653114
Scott438473
Greene423596
Wells422588
Clay421360
White417364
Decatur4152102
Fayette405787
Jennings385961
Posey375844
Washington356150
LaGrange356078
Randolph343499
Spencer338743
Fountain333860
Sullivan327852
Starke315570
Owen313970
Fulton309167
Orange292663
Jay283445
Franklin265143
Perry264852
Rush260832
Carroll260633
Vermillion257254
Parke230426
Pike228443
Tipton227259
Blackford191841
Pulaski183157
Crawford159023
Newton156848
Benton150217
Brown145747
Martin138019
Switzerland134811
Warren120816
Union107016
Ohio84213
Unassigned0540

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events