CHICAGO – One swing was all it took to bring the Milwaukee Brewers’ eight-game winning streak to an end.
Kyle Schwarber homered off Chase Anderson in the sixth inning, and it stood up the rest of the way as the Brewers fell to the Chicago Cubs, 1-0, at Wrigley Field on Thursday night.
With almost no breeze, it was a night for the pitchers as Anderson squared off against fellow right-hander Kyle Hendricks (2-1) in a game that featured next to no offense.
The Brewers managed just four hits – all coming against Hendricks and with two outs. They got runners into scoring position three times but failed to capitalize.
BOX SCORE: Cubs 1, Brewers 0
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Anderson (2-2) was nearly as tough on the Cubs. He allowed five hits and a walk with two strikeouts over seven innings – the deepest effort by a Brewers starter this season. It was also his fourth quality start in six overall outings.
Schwarber blasted an 0-1 cutter out to right in the decisive sixth, the seventh homer Anderson has allowed in 34 2/3 innings. He allowed 14 in 141 1/3 innings in 2017.
It was the fourth shutout loss for the Brewers and third to the Cubs.
IVY LEAGUERS: The Brewers opened their four-game series with the Cubs on a four-game winning streak at Wrigley Field. They won the four games by a combined score of 31-5 — 11-2, 2-0, 15-2 and 3-1. The Friendly Confines also are a little friendlier for visitors, as the next phase of renovation at the ballpark was completed in the off-season. It included expanded and modernized dugouts, workout areas and a more conveniently located batting cage.
Last area to receive an update? Not surprisingly it’ll be the visitors’ clubhouse, which still is roughly the size of and as pleasant as a broom closet.
“They’re doing a nice job of modernizing an old ballpark,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “I give them credit.”
RIGHT AT HOME: Ryan Braun has done plenty of damage at Wrigley Field since breaking into the major leagues in 2007. In 73 career games there entering Thursday, he was hitting .341 with 15 home runs, 63 runs batted in and 53 runs scored. In 157 total games against the Cubs, Braun was hitting .327 with 33 homers, 120 RBI and 115 runs scored. Braun started at first base Thursday.
PITCHING IN: Entering Thursday, Milwaukee starters were 7-1 with a 2.54 ERA over the previous 11 games with opponents batting .212 against them, while the relievers had tossed 28 consecutive innings without surrendering an earned run. The bullpen also had allowed just 11 hits and six walks while striking out 34 over that same span. Five relievers – Jeremy Jeffress (0.68), Josh Hader (1.17), Jacob Barnes (1.26), Matt Albers (1.42) and Dan Jennings (1.50) – boasted ERAs of 1.50 or lower.
CATCHING A BREAK: The Brewers avoided having to face one of the Cubs’ best hitters, as third baseman Kris Bryant sat out for a third straight game after being hit in the head by a pitch in Colorado. Bryant did some work on the field before the game, and the Brewers actually were anticipating Bryant being in the lineup before he was replaced by Tommy La Stella. Bryant came into the series a .293 hitter with 11 homers and 35 RBI in 59 career games against the Brewers.
RETURNING TO FORM: The Brewers hit Hendricks hard the first time they saw him this season, racking up nine hits – including two homers – and a walk over five innings in an eventual 5-4 victory at Miller Park. The right-hander entered 6-4 with a 3.01 ERA in 16 career starts against Milwaukee and he returned to form in this one, allowing only four hits while striking out five over seven innings.
This year: 16-10.
Last year: 13-13.
Friday: Brewers at Cubs, 1:20 p.m. Milwaukee LHP Brent Suter (1-2, 5.68) vs. Chicago RHP Yu Darvish (0-2, 6.86). TV: FS Wisconsin. Radio: AM-620.