The Chicago Cubs’ bullpen was shelled for five earned runs in five innings of work on Saturday, as the Milwaukee Brewers knocked off the North Siders 8-3 at Wrigley Field.
Ben Gamel drove in a pair of runs with an RBI triple in the fourth inning, and Christian Yelich and Justin Smoak each smacked their first home runs of the season in the Brewers’ victory. Omar Narvaez and Lorenzo Kane each picked up RBI hits in the contest, with the Brewers taking revenge after the Cubs took the series opener on Friday.
Making his first start of the season, Yu Darvish gave up three earned runs, but couldn’t get past the fourth inning as an elevated pitch count forced manager David Ross to go to his bullpen early. That decision ultimately proved costly, as Cubs relievers combined to give up five earned runs and five hits in five innings of work.
Brad Wieck and Duane Underwood Jr. both gave up home runs in the contest, and James Norwood was tagged for a pair of earned runs allowed in the seventh inning.
Kyle Schwarber did pick up his first home run of the season, and Willson Contreras also collected an RBI in the losing effort. The Cubs’ offense squandered several key scoring chances, going 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and leaving nine runners on base.
The Cubs got on the board quickly in the first inning on an RBI single by Contreras, but the Brewers responded by tying the game in the second on an RBI single by Eric Sogard. That score held until the fourth inning when Gamel tripled to deep right-center field, scoring Narvaez and Cain to make it a 3-1 game.
After Smoak hit a home run to right to give Milwaukee a 4-1 lead, Schwarber pulled the Cubs back within one in the bottom of the fifth, blasting a two-run home run into the right field bleachers.
The Brewers got those runs right back in the sixth when Yelich homered off the batters eye in center field, and Narvaez and Cain added insurance runs in the seventh inning to allow Milwaukee to earn the victory.
The two teams will wrap up their three-game set Sunday, with Tyler Chatwood taking the hill for the Cubs and Freddy Peralta pitching for the Brewers. First pitch is set for 1:20 p.m., and the game will air on Marquee Sports Network.