MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jason Heyward hit a three-run homer off Josh Hader in the ninth inning, and the Chicago Cubs topped the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Saturday night.
NL Central-leading Chicago had gone scoreless for 17 straight innings before breaking through against Hader, who hadn’t allowed a homer all season long.
Javier Báez and pinch-hitter Anthony Rizzo sparked the rally with consecutive one-out singles. Heyward then put the Cubs ahead to stay with a deep drive to center for his sixth homer.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 13, 2020
Lefties were batting just .115 with six homers against Hader in the All-Star closer’s career coming into the game.
After Heyward and company returned to the dugout, Ildemaro Vargas followed with another homer to give Chicago a 4-2 lead. Hader then retired the next two batters, but the damage was done.
Milwaukee wasted a strong effort by Brent Suter, who stepped in after Brett Anderson was scratched because of right hip soreness. Suter struck out six in three scoreless innings, and four relievers combined for five innings of three-hit ball before Hader (1-2) faltered in the ninth.
Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer for the Brewers, who posted shutout wins in their previous two games. Avisaíl García, Keston Hiura and Dan Vogelbach had two hits apiece.
Jason Adams (1-1) got one out for the win, striking out Christian Yelich with a runner on first to end the eighth. Craig Kimbrel earned his second save, continuing his turnaround after a rough start to the season.
Hiura and Jedd Gyorko opened the ninth with consecutive singles off Kimbrel. But Vogelbach struck out swinging, Ben Gamel bounced into a forceout and Orlando Arcia lined out to end the game.
While Chicago struggled at the plate for most of the night, Kyle Hendricks kept the Cubs in the game with 7 2/3 solid innings. The right-hander allowed six hits, struck out seven and walked none.
Cubs: OF Cameron Maybin was scratched due to a stomach illness.
Brewers: The 32-year-old Anderson is day to day. Manager Craig Counsell said he should be ready at some point during the team’s five-game series against St. Louis that begins on Monday.
RHP Alec Mills (4-3, 4.74 ERA) starts for Chicago for Sunday, RHP Adrian Houser (1-4, 5.48 ERA) pitches for the Brewers.
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