Game Fifty-Three: Cubs 8, Brewers 0
WP – Jason Hammel (6-3) LP – Wily Peralta (4-5) Save – None
The Cubs bounced back with an impressive win on Saturday afternoon after being embarrassed on Friday night. Jason Hammel threw seven more innings of shutout ball at Miller Park while Anthony Rizzo drove in the Cubs first four runs with a pair of towering two-run homers off Wily Peralta. The Cubs scored five runs in the sixth, all with two outs, and the pitching staff shut out the high-flying Brewers offense.
The game was much closer than the final score indicates. Anthony Rizzo put the first two runs on the board in the fourth inning and Jason Hammel kept the Brewers off the board until the Cubs scored five runs in the sixth inning.
Jason Hammel recovered from the rough ending to his start in San Diego and pitched seven innings of shutout ball on Saturday afternoon. Hammel struck out the side in the fifth and set a season-high with eight strikeouts. Hammel found a rhythm early and kept the Brewers off balance all afternoon. Hammel struck out seven batters in the first five innings before the Cubs offense starting hitting the baseball. Hammel faced one over the minimum the first time through the lineup and gave up four singles. Hammel did not walk and batter while throwing 110 pitches, 73 for strikes, in seven scoreless frames.
In two starts at Miller Park this season, Jason Hammel has allowed seven hits, walked two batters, hit two batters and struck out 15 over 14 shutout innings.
Justin Grimm pitched a scoreless eighth and Pedro Strop, in his first appearance in nearly a month, retired the Brewers in order to end the game.
The Cubs offense did not record their first hit until the fourth inning. Emilio Bonifacio (2-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI) led off the fourth with a single, advanced to second on a fielder’s choice and trotted home on Anthony Rizzo’s first mammoth shot of the game. Jason Hammel (1-for-3 with a run scored) led off the sixth with a single and two outs later he trotted around the bases when Anthony Rizzo (2-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI) took Wily Peralta deep for the second time in as many at bats.
Anthony Rizzo collected his first multi-home run game of the season and the fifth of his career. Saturday was the first time since last August 21 he went deep twice in the same game.
Starlin Castro (1-for-3 with a double, a run scored and a walk) followed Rizzo’s second shot with a double and scored on a Chris Coghlan (1-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored) single. John Baker (1-for-4 with a RBI) singled in Nate Schierholtz (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) and Darwin Barney (1-for-4 with a double and a RBI) doubled in Coghlan.
Justin Ruggiano (1-for-1 with a triple and a run scored) tripled with two outs in the ninth and scored on a single off the bat of Emilio Bonifacio. Six of the Cubs eight runs scored with two outs. And the six runs the Cubs scored off Wily Peralta were the most runs he’s allowed all season.
The Cubs snapped their three-game losing skid and with Saturday’s victory improved to 20-33 on the season.
Jason Hammel faced one over the minimum over the first three innings (43 pitches, 31 strikes) and the Cubs did not manage a hit or a baserunner in the three innings. Wily Peralta retired the Cubs nine-up, nine-down on 41 pitches, 25 for strikes.
Emilio Bonifacio led off the fourth with a single to right center, the Cubs first hit of the game. Renteria called for a hit and run on the first pitch to Lake. Junior Lake smoked a grounder to third that Reynolds fielded threw to second and Gennett turned it to first to barely get Lake. Bonifacio was called safe at second, the Brewers did not agree and challenged the call. After further review, the call on the field was upheld and Bonifacio stood at second with Rizzo due up. Anthony Rizzo worked a full count before launching his ninth homer of the season. The ball ended up in the second deck beyond the wall in right center and the Cubs took a 2-0 lead. Starlin Castro walked. Nate Schierholtz grounded into a 1-4-6 fielder’s choice. On the first pitch to Coghlan, Nate Schierholtz took off for second and was tagged out to end the inning. The Cubs made Peralta work (65 pitches, 40 for strikes, after four innings) and the Cubs finally put the ball in play.
Jason Hammel worked around hitting Carlos Gomez with a 1-2 pitch, two outs and the bases empty in the fourth inning. Hammel was plunked with two outs, stole second on the first pitch to Davis. Baker’s throw skipped past Barney. Starlin Castro dove and kept the ball from skipping into center. Gomez took off for third, and ran into Barney on the way. Castro threw out Gomez at third, but Barney was called for interference and Gomez was awarded third base. Khris Davis flied out to center to end the inning … 62 pitches, 41 for strikes, for Hammel after four innings.
The Cubs led 2-0 after four innings.
The Cubs did nothing in the fifth and Jason Hammel struck out the side in the fifth (77 pitches, 48 for strikes). The game went to the sixth with the Cubs up 2-0.
Jason Hammel led off the sixth with a single to center, the Cubs’ third hit of the game. Wily Peralta retired Bonifacio on a fly out to left and Lake struck out swinging. Anthony Rizzo followed and just like his previous at bat in the fourth inning, Rizzo worked a full count before launching a home run to the second deck in right field. Rizzo’s second two-run homer of the game, with Hammel on board, gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead. Starlin Castro followed with a double to left. Nate Schierholtz worked a walk (3-2 pitch) and Ron Roenicke decided that was enough for Peralta. Zach Duke took over and Chris Coghlan singled to center. Castro scored and the Cubs took a 5-0 lead. John Baker followed with a single to right. Schierholtz scored, and Coghlan went to third with two outs. Darwin Barney doubled to left center, Coghlan scored and the Cubs took a 7-0 lead. Hammel struck out swinging to end the inning.
Jason Hammel took the hill for the sixth with a 7-0 lead and retired Segura on a flyout to center for the first out. Hammel plunked Ryan Braun on his left shoulder. Braun took off for second on a 2-0 pitch to Lucroy. Jonathan Lucroy hit a sinking liner to right. Schierholtz ran in, made a diving catch, got to his feet and doubled off Braun at first to end the inning.
After six complete, the Cubs had a 7-0 lead.
And that is where the game stood until two outs in the ninth inning. Justin Ruggiano hit for Justin Grimm with two down in the ninth and drove a 2-1 pitch from Wei-Chung Wang to right. Braun dove for the ball near the line, came up short and Ruggiano ended up at third with a triple. Emilio Bonifacio singled to center, Ruggiano scored and the Cubs took an 8-0 lead. Junior Lake grounded out to short to end the inning.
Pedro Strop pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to close out the game.
Jeff Samardzija and Kyle Lohse square off in the finale of the three-game series at Miller Park on Sunday afternoon (1:10pm CDT).