Brewers: Cravy blows up in 5th again, Cubs sweep Crew


Right-hander Tyler Cravy struggled in the fifth inning for the second straight start and the Chicago Cubs bashed their way to a 9-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers and a series sweep on Thursday at Wrigley Field.

It was a battle between teams moving in opposite directions—the Cubs (65-48) won for the seventh straight game and have taken 13 of their last 14 and now lead the San Francisco Giants for the second National League wild-card by 4½ games; the Brewers (48-68) lost their third in a row and have dropped 16 of 22.

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Cravy (0-4) had pitched fairly well through four innings, allowing only Jorge Soler’s RBI single in the second inning, but—as it did in his last start Friday at home against the St. Louis Cardinals—the wheels came off in the fifth inning.

After walking Addison Russell, Cravy served up a home run—after a lengthy video review—to Dexter Fowler and the Cubs took a 3-1 lead on Fowler’s 12th homer of the season.

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Kyle Schwarber followed with a homer to center field—the first of two long balls for the rookie—and Cravy’s day was done after allowing four runs on four hits with four walks and three strikeouts in 4.1 innings. His ERA is now an unsightly 5.92.

Right-hander Corey Knebel came on and, after getting a strikeout, gave up a homer to Anthony Rizzo—the All-Star’s 22nd of the campaign—as Chicago took a 5-1 lead.

Milwaukee had tied the game in the third inning by going on a speed campaign, snagging four stolen bases in the inning against left-hander Jon Lester (8-8), who botched his first pickoff attempt since April to start the wheels in motion.

Jean Segura reached on an infield single and Lester threw over—something that has plagued him for a while now—wildly. After Jonathan Lucroy struck out for the second out of the inning, Segura swiped third base and scored on Ryan Braun’s infield single.

Braun promptly stole second and third before Khris Davis walked and Davis, for just the second time this season, stole second base.

But Jason Rogers flew out and Milwaukee couldn’t capitalize on the thefts.

The Brewers closed to within 5-2 in the top of the sixth. Elian Herrera lined a one-out double to left and scored on Hernan Perez’s single to left field. Perez—shockingly—stole second base, but Lester struck out Logan Schafer and Shane Peterson to end the inning.

Chicago wasn’t done playing home-run derby against the Brewers staff, however. Schwarber greeted left-hander Neal Cotts with a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh—his eighth of the season—to put the Cubs up 7-2.

In the eighth, Chris Denorfia hit his second home run of the season off Francisco Rodriguez and Schwarber later drove in a run with an RBI single.

The rookie catcher-outfielder is hitting .330 and was 3-for-4 with four RBI on Thursday.

Knebel was charged with a run and a hit with a strikeout while getting the final two outs of the fifth for Milwaukee. Kyle Lohse worked a scoreless sixth before opening the seventh with a walk prior to Schwarber’s second homer and was charged with a run on a hit with a walk and two strikeouts. Cotts’ line was a run on two hits with a strikeout in one inning.

Rodriguez was hit with two runs on three hits with a strikeout in an inning.

Braun may have been the Brewers’ lone bright spot in the series, going 3-for-4 in the finale and finishing 6-for-9 in the series.

Segura was 2-for-5 with a double, Herrera had two doubles and was 2-for-4 and Perez also went 2-for-4.

Manager Craig Counsell was succinct.

“We got our butts kicked,” the manager told “I mean, that’s pretty simple. The Cubs are playing well, but we got our butts kicked.”

As far as the rotation goes, Counsell said Cravy will get another start, but …

“I don’t think we have long term with that,” Counsell said. “I think we’re kind of just going start by start right now. Zach Davies is a guy we traded for. He could be a possibility. But I think for now we’re going with Cravy and letting him show us what he can do.”

Davies was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles in a trade for Gerardo Parra on July 31.

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    The Brewers limp home Friday night to open a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies (46-69) at 7:10 p.m. at Miller Park. Wily Peralta (2-7, 4.48 ERA) takes the ball against left-hander Adam Morgan (3-3, 4.06).

    Peralta has not fared well against the Phillies, going 1-2 with an 8.82 ERA and 1.898 WHIP in three career starts, striking out 12 in 16.1 innings. He last faced Philadelphia on July 8, 2014, giving up nine runs in 4.1 innings of a 9-7 loss.

    He has lost two straight starts, including Saturday when he gave up three runs on five hits in seven innings with a walk and two strikeouts in a 3-0 loss to the Cardinals.

    Morgan, a rookie who made his debut in June, has never faced Milwaukee. He got a win in his last start Saturday in San Diego, holding the Padres to two runs—one earned—on six hits in six innings with a walk and four strikeouts.

    Next: Hellweg Impresses With Velocity In Rehab Start

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