Willson Contreras is tired of being hit by Milwaukee Brewers pitchers, and he got revenge in a big way on Tuesday night as he socked the go-ahead home run in a 3-2 Chicago Cubs win.
Contreras, who has already been hit by three pitches by Brewers pitchers, stepped to the plate in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s game with Ian Happ on base. He clubbed a Brent Suter offering for a 438-foot home run, giving the Cubs a 3-2 lead.
Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel managed to finish off the game, with Kimbrel earning his third save of the season in recording the final four outs of the contest. Pedro Strop, called back up to the Cubs with several relievers heading to the COVID-19-related injury list, earned the victory in his first appearance with the North Siders since 2019.
Alec Mills, pitching in place of an ill Kyle Hendricks, gave up two earned runs in four innings of work.
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The Cubs went down early in the game when Luis Urías smacked a home run over the left field wall in the second inning of the contest. That home run gave the Brewers a 2-0 advantage, but that was all the offense they could ultimately muster.
In the fourth inning, the Cubs had perhaps their best threat to score in the early going, with Contreras reaching third on an Anthony Rizzo single to right field. Kris Bryant hit a long fly ball to center field, but it was hauled in just shy of the warning track. The ball was still deep enough to score Contreras, cutting the Milwaukee lead to 2-1.
That would remain the score until the top of the eighth inning when Ian Happ reached base on an infield single. Contreras then stepped to the plate and blasted a long home run to left, giving the Cubs a 3-2 lead.
Kimbrel was called into the game in the bottom of the frame after Chafin put runners on first and second with two outs, but he was able to get Avisail García to ground into a fielder’s choice on the very first pitch he saw, ending the Milwaukee threat.
Kimbrel got Jackie Bradley Jr. to strike out swinging and Omar Narváez to line out to left field to start the bottom of the ninth, and after a walk to Urías Jace Peterson flew out to center field, securing the win for the Cubs.
The 5-6 Cubs will try to nail down the rubber match in the series on Wednesday when they send Jake Arrieta to the mound against the Brewers.