CHICAGO (AP) — Rookie Junior Lake hit his first career grand slam in Chicago’s five-run first inning and the Cubs held off the Milwaukee Brewers 8-5 on Friday.
Lake was 2 for 4 and has five homers since being called up July 19.
The Cubs and Brewers are tied for fourth place in the NL Central at 60-80.
The Cubs jumped on Brewers starter Kyle Lohse (9-9) in the first inning. Nate Schierholtz singled with one out and runners on first and second to drive in the first run. Two batters later, Lake homered on a 1-0 slider.
The Brewers scratched out single runs in the second and third innings to make it 5-2, but Cubs starter Chris Rusin made it 7-2 with a two-run single in the bottom of the third.
Rusin had more success at the plate than on the mound. After getting the first two outs in the fourth, he gave up consecutive hits to Norichika Aoki and Jean Segura, and was yanked from the game before pitching the required five innings to get the win.
With right-handed power hitter Jonathan Lucroy due up, Cubs manager Dale Sveum replaced the left-handed Lucroy with right-hander Carlos Villanueva (5-8) and he got the final out in the inning to earn the victory.
Milwaukee’s Scooter Gennett hit a pinch three-run homer off Pedro Strop to make it 7-5 in the eighth.
The Cubs added an insurance run in the inning when Donnie Murphy led off with a single and scored on shortstop Segura’s throwing error.
Kevin Gregg got the final three outs for his 30th save in 35 chances.
NOTES: The Cubs activated recently acquired RHP Daniel Bard before the game, but whether he pitches in a game this season remains to be seen. Before he throws in a game, the Cubs at least want to see him throw on the side a couple of times. After battling an abdominal strain this season, Bard said he’s healthy and hopes to correct the problems with mechanics he believes robbed him of his high-90s fastball while with the Boston Red Sox. … Khris Davis was in the Brewers’ original lineup playing left field and batting sixth, but was scratched becausde of soreness in his left wrist. He is listed as day to day. … The Cubs announced that RHP Scott Baker will start the series finale Sunday. It will be his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. … The Cubs’ Jake Arieta (2-1) will face Johnny Hellweg (0-3) on Saturday.
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