Yovani Gallardo (7-6) continued his recent dominance at Wrigley, working seven innings and allowing a run on six hits with six strikeouts as the Brewers’ lead in the National League Central increased to 2½ games over the Pittsburgh Pirates, who beat Detroit Monday, and three games over the St. Louis Cardinals, who lost at Miami.
In his last seven starts at Wrigley Field dating back to August 2010, Gallardo is 5-0 with a 1.77 ERA and 0.876 WHIP over 45.2 innings, with 50 strikeouts.
With the game tied 1-1 in the top of the seventh, Ryan Braun led off with a single and stole second on a swinging strike three to Aramis Ramirez. Scooter Gennett lined a double to left-center field and Braun tried to score, but a tremendous relay throw from shortstop Starlin Castro cut down the former MVP at the plate to keep the score tied 1-1.
Braun was initially called out and the decision was confirmed on replay review.
But Davis followed by lacing a double down the left-field line to score Gennett and put the Crew up 2-1.
The Brewers added an insurance run in the ninth with two outs when Ramirez doubled and scored on a single by Gennett.
Will Smith worked a perfect eighth, striking out one, and Francisco Rodriguez took over the major-league lead in saves, recording his 36th. He allowed a hit and struck out two and survived a 13-pitch marathon against Cubs All-Star Anthony Rizzo leading off the inning.
Chicago (50-67) came back to tie it in the fifth on an RBI double by Chris Couglan.
Gennett was 2-for-4 for the Brewers, who had seven hits and stole three bases—two by Carlos Gomez. The Cubs were also limited to seven hits, with Castro going 2-for-4.
Rodriguez’s 36 saves are the most he’s had in a season since setting the major-league single-season record with 62 in 2008 for the Los Angeles Angels.
With 340 career saves, Rodriguez is one away from tying Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers—a former Brewer—for 11th place on the all-time list.
The series continues Tuesday at 7:05 p.m., with right-hander Wily Peralta (14-6, 3.42 ERA) seeking to become baseball’s first 15-game winner this season. The Cubs counter with rookie right-hander Kyle Hendricks (3-1, 2.10 ERA).