CHICAGO (AP) — Rookie Jorge Soler had a two-run double to become the second player in Cubs history with as many as 10 RBIs in his first seven games as Chicago beat Milwaukee 6-2 on Wednesday night.
Soler joined Mandy Brooks, who had 12 RBIs in 1925, as the only Chicago players to accomplish that feat.
Kyle Hendricks pitched five-plus innings to hear his fifth straight win. Hendricks (6-1) allowed two runs on nine hits in 5 2-3 innings. The right-hander did not walk or strike out a batter.
With five rookies in the lineup, the Cubs completed their first three-game sweep of the Brewers since Aug. 23-25, 2004.
Milwaukee concluded a 1-8 road trip with its eighth straight loss to fall three games behind St. Louis in the NL Central race.
Chicago never trailed after Chris Valaika hit a two-run homer off ex-Cub Matt Garza to put it ahead 2-1 in the second. The blast to deep left field followed Logan Watkins’ two-out single.
In his first start in 31 days, Garza (7-8) failed to get past the third inning. The right-hander allowed six runs on eight hits and one walk. He had been on the disabled list since Aug. 4 because of a strained left oblique.
The Cubs batted around in the third, when they scored four times to take a 6-1 lead.
Soler began the onslaught with a two-run double, his ninth and 10 RBIs of the season. Welington Castillo followed with a run-scoring, ground-rule double, and one out later, Watkins hit an RBI single to cap the rally.
Milwaukee took an early lead in the second, when Khris Davis singled, advanced on a groundout and scored on Logan Schafer’s two-out base hit.
The Brewers scored their final run on Valaika’s error at first base in the sixth.
Milwaukee was missing Ryan Braun, who was with his wife Larisa in Milwaukee, where she was expecting their first child.
Brewers: OF Carlos Gomez will not take part in physical activity until Sunday at the earliest. He sat out his third straight game because of a sprained left wrist and could be out of action until until mid-September. INF Mark Reynolds and Jason Rogers were available to play in the outfield if necessary.
Cubs: Results of X-rays and an MRI revealed SS Starlin Castro suffered a high ankle sprain on a slide into home during a 7-1 win against the Brewers on Tuesday night. General manager Jed Hoyer said Castro hoped to beat the 4-week prognosis to return but his season was likely over. … 1B Anthony Rizzo remains out indefinitely with a strained lower back. … 3b Mike Olt began a two-game rehab assignment with Class-A Kane County on Wednesday night. … OF Ryan Sweeney (strained left hamstring) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list, which effectively ended his season. The contract of OF Ryan Kalish was selected from the Triple-A club.
The Brewers return home to meet St. Louis in a crucial four-game series. RHP Wily Peralta (15-9, 3.82) and Cardinals RHP Michael Wacha (5-5, 2.79) are the scheduled starters Thursday night. After an open date, the Cubs will send LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (4-2, 2.79) to the mound against Pittsburgh RHP Vance Worley (6-4, 3.01) in the first game of a three-game set on Friday afternoon.
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