Justin Smoak and Christian Yelich each blasted their first home run of the season, and the Milwaukee Brewers pulled away for an 8-3 win over the host Chicago Cubs on Saturday afternoon.
Ben Gamel added a two-run triple for Milwaukee, which evened the season-opening series at one win apiece. Lorenzo Cain finished 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
Kyle Schwarber clubbed a two-run homer, also his first of the season, to lead the Cubs at the plate. Javier Baez reached base three times with a pair of singles and a hit by pitch, and Willson Contreras had an RBI single.
Brewers left-hander Brent Suter (1-0) earned the victory in relief despite allowing two runs on three hits in 2 2/3 innings. Suter followed right-hander Corbin Burnes, who gave up one run in 3 1/3 innings in place of injured starter Brett Anderson (blister).
Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish (0-1) gave up three runs on six hits in four innings. He walked none and fanned five.
The score was even at 1-1 in the fourth when Gamel put the Brewers on top for good. He drilled a line drive to deep right center field, driving in a pair of runs before sliding head first into third for his 10th career triple.
Smoak increased Milwaukee’s lead to 4-1 in the fifth with a towering shot that ricocheted off the foul pole in right field. It marked his first homer with the Brewers, with whom he signed in December after spending the previous five years in Toronto.
The Cubs pulled within 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth on Schwarber’s home run to right field with one on and one out.
Yelich provided some breathing room for the Brewers in the sixth. After Eric Sogard drew a two-out walk, Yelich belted a pitch an estimated 425 feet to straightaway center field to make it 6-3.
Inside a mostly empty Wrigley Field, Brewers teammates could be heard screaming from the dugout as Yelich rounded the bases. Yelich belted 44 home runs for the team last season but had struggled with his swing during summer camp.
Omar Narvaez and Cain drove in one run apiece in the seventh to cap the scoring.
–Field Level Media