The Milwaukee Brewers were stymied for the second straight night by a Chicago Cubs’ rookie pitcher, dropping a 4-2 decision at Wrigley Field on Wednesday.
This time, it was rookie left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada (2-1) who did the honors, shutting the Brewers out for 6.2 innings until surrendering back-to-back homers to Rickie Weeks and Martin Maldonado in the seventh.
It was all the Brewers (66-55) got off Wada, however. The lefty limited the Crew to five hits and fanned five over 6.2 innings.
Justin Grimm came on to retire one batter in the seventh to quell any uprising Milwaukee might have had in mind.
Meanwhile, Brewers starter Kyle Lohse (11-7) left after just three innings after tweaking his ankle during an at-bat.
Lohse was roughed up for four runs on seven hits in three innings before Marco Estrada came in and kept it close. Estrada allowed just two hits and fanned two in four shutout innings. Brandon Kintzler walked one in the eighth, but faced the minimum by inducing a double play grounder by John Baker.
The Cubs (52-67) didn’t take long to strike.
Chris Coghlan led off the game with a double to center and moved up to third on a single by Javier Baez. Anthony Rizzo brought home the first run with a sacrifice fly and Starlin Castro singled up the middle on a ball shortstop Jean Segura deflected but couldn’t come up with. That allowed Baez to score.
The Brewers had a chance to get to Wada in the top of the third when Maldonado led off with a double to right-center. Segura flew out to right to advance Maldonado to third, but Lohse struck out on three pitches and limped back to the dugout after apparently rolling an ankle on a swing.
In the bottom of the third, Baez led off with his fourth home run in just his ninth big-league game and Rizzo followed with a blast of his own, his 27th of the season and second in as many nights.
After Lohse surrendered a single to Castro, he fanned Luis Valbuena.
After that at-bat, manager Ron Roenicke and trainer Dan Wright visited the mound, but Lohse stayed in the game, fanning Arismendy Alcantara and Baker to end the inning before he was removed from the game.
Lohse is winless in his last four starts, going 0-3 with a 6.63 ERA over that span. He last won on July 23.
Wada retired nine straight, getting to two outs in the seventh, before things went sideways. Weeks hit his fifth home run of the season into the first row in left-center and Maldonado followed with his third jack of the year to roughly the same area.
Milwaukee had a runner in scoring position in the eighth after Jonathan Lucroy, who started at first base, tripled to right field off reliever Neil Ramirez. But there would be no two-out magic—Ryan Braun popped out to end the threat.
Hector Rondon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 16th save.
The Pittsburgh Pirates lost at Detroit Wednesday to remain 1½ games behind the Brewers in the National League Central, while the St. Louis Cardinals won at Miami to cut their deficit to two games.