Game Thirty – Cubs 2, Brewers 3 – 11 innings
WP – Michael Blazek (3-0) LP – Jason Motte (1-1) Save – None
Miguel Montero gave the Cubs the lead with a solo homer in the sixth. Anthony Rizzo doubled in the tying run in the eighth. But Jason Motte loaded the bases in the 11th and Martin Maldonado drove in the winning run as the Brewers walked off the Cubs on Sunday afternoon.
For the second weekend in a row, the Cubs were not able to take care of business against the Brewers. The Cubs dropped two of three in Milwaukee and are 2-4 in the six games with the Brewers this season after losing series in back-to-back weekends to the place team in the NL Central Division.
Kyle Hendricks was in line for the win Sunday after tossing 5 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. Hendricks easily put together his best outing of the season. Hendricks kept the Brewers off balance with good command and he seemed to find a rhythm with Miguel Montero. Hendricks did not receive any run support until the sixth inning when Miguel Montero (1-for-2 with a home run and a walk) took Matt Garza deep to left for the first run of the game.
Joe Maddon replaced Hendricks with one out in the sixth after he gave up a leadoff single to Ryan Braun but retired Adam Lind on a flyout to left. Justin Grimm recorded the last two outs in the sixth and closed the book on Hendricks for the day.
Kyle Hendricks gave up five hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings on 85 pitches, 54 for strikes.
The Cubs one-run lead did not last long.
Zac Rosscup served up back-to-back homers to Martin Maldonado and Elian Herrera in the seventh, the seventh and eighth place hitters in the Brewers’ lineup. Rosscup missed inside and the Brewers’ backups made him pay for the mistakes.
The Cubs tied the game in the eighth inning on a two-out double by Anthony Rizzo (2-for-5 with a double and a RBI).
Dexter Fowler (1-for-4 with a run scored) singled to left off Jonathan Broxton with one out. After Kris Bryant (0-for-5 with three strikeouts) was caught looking at strike three, Craig Counsell went to his pen for lefty Will Smith to face Rizzo.
Anthony Rizzo quickly fell behind 0-2 before taking a ball. Rizzo shortened up and popped a 1-2 pitch over Braun’s head in right. Fowler scored all the way from first after Martin Maldonado was not able to handle the throw from Scooter Gennett.
The Cubs could not string any hits together against the Brewers’ bullpen. And Milwaukee finally got to the Cubs’ pen in the 11th inning.
Pedro Strop pitched two scoreless innings (eighth and ninth) and James Russell retired the Brewers in order in the 10th inning. But Jason Motte gave up a leadoff double to Ryan Braun in the 11th inning. Motte intentionally walked Adam Lind. Khris Davis flied out to center. Braun tagged and went to third. Jean Segura was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Joe Maddon brought Chris Coghlan in from left field and went with a five-infielder alignment. Martin Maldonado drove a 1-1 pitch over Soler’s head in left, Braun scored and the Brewers won the series.
The Cubs scored two runs on six hits and two walks with 16 strikeouts.
There were several questionable decisions made by Joe Maddon in Sunday’s loss. But when a team strikes out 16 times in 11 innings, coupled with a struggling bullpen a .500 team is the result after 30 games.
With Sunday’s loss, the Cubs are back to even at 15-15 on the season.
Weather permitting … The Cubs open a seven-game homestand Monday night (7:05pm CDT) with the first of four against the Mets. Jon Lester is scheduled to face Jacob deGrom in game one.