MILWAUKEE (AP) — P.J. Higgins hit a tiebreaking two-out double off Josh Hader in the ninth inning, and the Chicago Cubs rallied for a 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.
After Brewers starter Corbin Burnes threw seven shutout innings, the Cubs broke through against Milwaukee’s bullpen by scoring in each of the last two frames. The Cubs took two of three at Milwaukee and have followed a 10-game losing streak by winning four straight series.
Patrick Wisdom led off the ninth with a walk for Chicago and stole second one out later. Higgins brought home Wisdom by sending Hader’s 1-1 slider just inside the right-field line. The Cubs nearly did more damage against Hader (0-2), who blew his second save of the season, but Christopher Morel hit an inning-ending flyball to the warning track in center.
David Robertson retired the side in order amid chants of “Let’s go, Cubbies” from the large contingent of Chicago fans at American Family Field to earn his 12th save in 16 opportunities.
Keston Hiura homered for the Brewers and made a superb catch in left field, where he made a rare start.
The Cubs’ rally began when Morel hit a one-out triple to right-center off Brad Boxberger in the eighth. Morel’s drive went just over the glove of center fielder Jonathan Davis, hit the yellow line at the top of the wall and caromed back into play.
After Boxberger walked pinch-hitter Seiya Suzuki, Rafael Ortega lined an RBI single to right.
Trevor Gott came in for Boxberger and retired Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ.
The Brewers wasted an opportunity to regain the lead in the bottom of the inning.
Davis hit a leadoff single, advanced to second on Mychal Givens’ wild pickoff attempt and moved to third when Christian Yelich grounded out. After Willy Adames popped out, Givens (5-0) intentionally walked Rowdy Tellez and struck out Luis Urías to end the threat.
Until the Cubs rallied, the story of the game had been two remarkable fifth-inning plays by Hiura.
He crashed into the wall in left-center while making a catch to rob Higgins of an extra-base hit that would have driven in Alfonso Rivas from second. Normally an infielder, Hiura was making just his second career start and fourth appearance in left field.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Hiura connected on a 3-2 sinker from Adrian Sampson and sent it 440 feet, well beyond the wall in left-center field for his eighth homer.
Sampson struck out five, walked none and allowed four hits and one run in 5 2/3 innings.
Burnes was even better. He struck out 10 and allowed three hits and one walk in his 100-pitch outing. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner has 18 career games with at least 10 strikeouts, tying Yovani Gallardo for the most in Brewers history.
Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks went on the injured list Wednesday with a sore throwing shoulder after lasting three innings — his shortest start of the season — in Tuesday’s 8-3 win. The Cubs recalled RHP Anderson Espinoza from Double-A Tennessee.
Cubs C Willson Contreras was out of the starting lineup for a second straight day due to hamstring tightness.
Cubs: Head to Los Angeles to begin a four-game series against the Dodgers on Thursday. Scheduled starters are Mark Leiter Jr. (2-2, 4.85 ERA) for the Cubs and Tony Gonsolin (10-0, 1.54) for LA.
Brewers: Begin a three-game home series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday with LHP Aaron Ashby (1-6, 4.60) on the mound.