Jon Lester pitched 6 2/3 strong innings and Kris Bryant slugged a two-run homer as the host Chicago Cubs defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 4-1 on Sunday evening.
Lester (3-1) limited the Marlins to one run (none earned) while allowing nine hits, walking one and striking out six.
Bryant went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs. In the past eight games, he has five homers and 11 RBIs.
Cubs shortstop Javier Baez went 2-for-3, including his go-ahead RBI double in the fifth. In addition, Milwaukee nearly tied the score at 2 in the sixth, but Baez threw out Jesus Aguilar at the plate as he tried to score from third on a grounder.
Jhoulys Chacin (3-4) took the loss. He allowed six hits, one walk and two runs (one earned) in six innings. Chacin also made a diving catch of an Albert Almora bunt in the fourth inning, throwing to second to complete a spectacular double play.
Both teams were without a key player in their starting lineup: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (back), who is a three-time All-Star and a two-time Gold Glove winner; and Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun (hamstring), a six-time All-Star and the 2011 NL MVP. Braun grounded out as a pinch hitter in the seventh. Rizzo is day to day.
Chicago opened the scoring with an unearned run in the first. Bryant reached on a one-out throwing error by shortstop Orlando Arcia and advanced to second on Baez’s single. Both runners advanced when Chacin bounced a wild pitch, and Bryant scored on Willson Contreras’ RBI groundout.
Milwaukee tied the score in the fourth. Christian Yelich sliced the ball to left fielder Kyle Schwarber, who started back before going forward. Schwarber then dove for the ball, and it went off his glove for a wind-blown, three-base error. Aguilar’s single drove home Yelich.
Chicago took a 2-1 lead in the fifth. With two outs and nobody on, Byrant pulled a singled through a three-infielder shift and scored when Baez drilled a double to right-center.
Bryant’s two-run homer in the seventh gave Chicago a 4-1 lead.
The Cubs enjoyed scoreless relief pitching from Brandon Kintzler and Steve Cishek, who posted his second save.
–Field Level Media