Cubs can't muster offense in 4-1 loss to Brewers
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Cubs' offense may have disappeared for one night, but considering the postseason aspirations his team has, manager Joe Maddon isn't overly concerned.
Zach Davies allowed two hits over six innings and Martin Maldonado drove in two runs to lead Milwaukee to a 4-1 victory over Chicago on Wednesday night, snapping the Brewers' nine-game losing streak to the Cubs.
Jorge Soler homered for the Cubs, who lost for the second time in nine games and finished with three hits total.
''We're not going to win every one,'' Maddon said. ''We won the series. You want to win series and we did.''
Davies (2-2) allowed two singles in the second inning, walked one and struck out four. Davies kept the Cubs off-balance all game, notching a win that Brewers manager Craig Counsell said was a real confidence booster for the young right-hander.
''They need to prove to themselves that they can have success up here,'' Counsell said. ''I think a night like tonight when he does what he's good at, it works.''
Milwaukee's bullpen took over from there before Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth and picked up his 35th save in 37 opportunities.
Luis Sardinas gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead with an RBI single just out of the reach of a diving Kris Bryant at third base.
The Brewers took a 3-0 lead in the seventh when Khris Davis followed Adam Lind's double with an RBI single. Two walks by reliever Justin Grimm loaded the bases and Maldonado hit a sacrifice fly.
Maldonado had an RBI single in the ninth.
Soler homered in the seventh off reliever Will Smith, his 10th of the season.
The Brewers couldn't solve Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (7-7), who retired the first 14 hitters. Jean Segura finally reached in the fifth when he legged out an infield single and he scored on Sardinas' hit.
Hendricks went six-plus innings, striking out eight and allowing three runs and four hits.
Despite the loss, Hendricks said the outing was the best he has felt in some time and gives him confidence that he could be coming around just as the Cubs are making a push for their first playoff berth since 2008 without a starting rotation settled beyond ace Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester.
''It didn't work out for us in the end, but overall personally,'' Hendricks said. ''I just have to take some good things from that one.''
The Cubs have found unique ways to hold private clubhouse celebrations after wins all year. From disco balls and other party-like environments that have come under Maddon's direction, there has been no shortage of postgame fun. But Maddon expects the celebrations to grow when the Cubs clinch a postseason berth, saying the party will be ''as big as it can possibly be.'' Maddon likes the bonding that has come from the postgame festivities, but said there's nothing wrong with celebrating just a little bit harder if the occasion warrants it. ''The word `party' has taken on a negative connotation in this country and it's really bumming me out,'' Maddon said. ''There's nothing wrong with having a good party.''
Brewers: RHP Wily Peralta (left oblique) is out for the season. Counsell said Peralta's oblique has ''flared up again.'' ... Counsell said OF Ryan Braun's back ''didn't progress like we wanted to'' when he took batting practice Tuesday and that Milwaukee is ''kind of in a holding pattern'' with the injury. ... C Jonathan Lucroy (concussion) worked out at first base before the game.
Cubs: LHP Jon Lester (10-11, 3.46 ERA) will be looking for his third win in September and his second against the Pirates after limiting Pittsburgh to one hit over five innings on Sept. 15.
Brewers: RHP Taylor Jungmann (9-6, 3.31 ERA) will face the Cardinals looking for his first win since Sept. 3. Jungmann has taken no-decisions in his last two outings during which he has given up nine earned runs.