Ryan Braun belted a solo homer and Gio Gonzalez scattered two hits over 5 2/3 innings as the visiting Milwaukee Brewers posted a 7-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday afternoon.
Yasmani Grandal collected two hits and joined Jesus Aguilar with two RBIs for the Brewers, who have won seven in a row to reside just percentage points behind the first-place Cubs in the National League Central.
Jose Quintana (4-2) allowed three runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings for Chicago, which fell to 10-2 in its last 12 games after being shut out for the third time this season.
Both starting pitchers surrendered just one hit through three scoreless innings before Braun deposited a 1-0 fastball from Quintana over the wall in center field with two outs in the fourth.
Braun’s blast was his eighth this season and third in three games against Chicago. The 2011 NL Most Valuable Player is 4-for-14 with eight RBIs versus the Cubs.
Gonzalez (1-0) struck out three and exited after just 79 pitches in his third start since signing a one-year, $2 million contract with Milwaukee. Four relievers bridged the gap to Adrian Houser, who recorded the final three outs.
The Brewers established some breathing room by tacking on two runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.
Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo made a diving stop on Mike Moustakas’ sharp grounder in the seventh, but his throw home was too late to nab Grandal as the Brewers claimed a 2-0 lead. Ben Gamel had a sacrifice fly before Grandal and Aguilar each drove in a pair of runs to cap the scoring.
Willson Contreras extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single to lead off the seventh inning for the Cubs. David Bote followed with a single to help Chicago mount a threat, but Jason Heyward’s grounder up the middle resulted in a double play and Junior Guerra induced a harmless pop up from Daniel Descalso with runners at second and third to end the inning.
–Field Level Media