CHICAGO (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers faced the Chicago Cubs’ best on Sunday and came away with a series victory over the NL Central champions.
Wily Peralta pitched six innings of one-run ball and Milwaukee scored twice against MLB ERA leader Kyle Hendricks while beating the Chicago Cubs, 3-1, on Sunday.
Tyler Thornburg struck out Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo with two on to earn his 11th save in 16 chances.
Hendricks pitched six innings and remained stuck on 15 victories. The Cubs have lost four of six while trying to secure home-field advantage in the playoffs. They resumed playing their regulars after clinching the division Thursday.
Chris Carter homered and Martin Maldonado and Peralta (7-10) added RBI singles for the Brewers, who took three of four games from the Cubs.
Hendricks (15-8), making his first start since losing a no-hit bid in the ninth inning at St. Louis, struck out nine and gave up six hits. His ERA rose from 2.03 to 2.06 as he lost for the first time since July 26 at the White Sox.
“You’re not going to get many hits against him with the way he’s been pitching this year,” said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. “There is not many hits out there, there is not many mistakes out there.”
Carter hit his 36th home run, a solo shot off Felix Pena, in the eighth, but also struck out three times to set a franchise record with 191 strikeouts.
“That’s why he is in there. There was three strikeouts to start the game then there was a home run to produce a run,” Counsell said.
Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun got a scheduled day off after hitting two home runs Saturday.
Peralta pitched in and out of trouble for most of the day and helped hold the Cubs to 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
“It wasn’t easy,” Peralta said. “I made a lot of good pitches and they still got hits, a bloop single, infield single, whatever, but this is a tough lineup that’s why they already clinched the division.”
Peralta gave up nine hits and struck out five.
Hendricks hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in a home start since April 15 against Colorado. In each of his last 21 starts, he has surrendered three or fewer earned runs.
“There’s a perfect example of if you’re going to vote on a won-loss record,” said Cubs manager Joe Maddon. “Just using that as a benchmark, I mean here’s a guy we have not supported him run-wise a lot this year and there’s another great example today.”
The right-hander struck out the first three batters before allowing a single to Hernan Perez to start the second inning. The Brewers hit three straight singles to score two runs.
The expectations are higher for Hendricks from a year ago, when he was 8-7 with a 3.95 ERA.
“It definitely means my mentality is just in a different place,” he said. “This game last year I probably would have been a lot happier with it. Resulting in a loss, I feel like I could have done a little more just with the tools I have available to me, where I’m at this year.”
Tommy La Stella pinch hit for Hendricks in the sixth and doubled in a run. Rizzo missed a tying home run when he flied out to the right-field warning track in the seventh.
LATE INNING RELIEF
Thornburg has not allowed an earned run in his last 19 appearances.
Beyond home-field advantage in the playoffs, Maddon wants to reach 100 victories. They’re at 94 right now. “It’s a pretty neat number. I’ve never done that before,” said Maddon, who won 97 in 2008 with Tampa and last year with Chicago.
Cubs: OF Jorge Soler (tight side) is day-to-day after he underwent an MRI, Maddon said. Soler could resume playing Monday or Tuesday after taking swings in the batting cage.
Brewers: After a day off Monday, RHP Matt Garza (5-7, 4.22 ERA) is to start the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Pirates.
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