It was another lost weekend for the Chicago Cubs against a hated rival, as the Milwaukee Brewers finished off an 8-5 victory and secured three out of four victories in the series.
Tyler Austin blasted a pinch hit three run home run in the fourth inning, and Eric Thames blasted another home run off Jon Lester in the sixth as the Brewers climbed back within two games of the Cubs in the National League wild card standings.
The loss leaves the Cubs with just a game and a half lead in the National League Wild Card race over the Arizona Diamondbacks, and drops them to four and a half games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the Central Division race thanks to the Redbirds’ win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.
The Cubs have now lost three in a row after winning the first game of the series at Miller Park on Thursday.
Jon Lester was roughed up for eight earned runs in five innings of work, and despite striking out seven batters he saw his season ERA balloon to 4.51 in what has been his toughest season as a member of the Cubs.
Danny Hultzen made his big league debut in the game, striking out three batters.
Shortstop Addison Russell was removed from the game after he was hit in the face by a pitch. His status is unknown at this time.
The Cubs tried to stage a comeback in the ninth inning of the game, but Josh Hader slammed the door on the North Siders, striking out Robel Garcia and Ben Zobrist to end the contest.
Jason Heyward hit a ninth inning home run, his 19th of the season, and Lester and Zobrist each drove in a run in the losing effort.
Ryan Braun got the Brewers on the board in the first inning when a run scored on a double play, but the Cubs answered back in the third with three runs. Addison Russell scored on a throwing error by Christian Yelich to tie the game, then Lester hit an RBI double to drive in David Bote.
Zobrist then doubled to right field, scoring Lester and giving the Cubs a 3-1 lead.
The Brewers came back with five runs of their own in the fourth inning, including a big three-run home run from Austin that made it a 6-3 game.
Milwaukee added two insurance runs in the sixth, and despite a two-run homer from Heyward in the ninth, the Cubs couldn’t complete an epic comeback, falling to the Brewers for the third straight day.
The Cubs will now head west to take on the San Diego Padres in a four-game series beginning on Monday night. Kyle Hendricks will take the ball for the Cubs in the game, which starts at 9:10 p.m. Central time.