Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis makes a catch at the wall on a ball hit by Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 17, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash
May 17, 2016

MILWAUKEE (AP) Chase Anderson's task Tuesday night was to be better than the best, and he was up to the challenge.

Anderson took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and finished with 8 2/3 strong innings to lift the Milwaukee Brewers over the Chicago Cubs 4-2 on Tuesday night.

The Cubs entered averaging 5.94 runs per game, but Anderson (2-5) stopped them almost cold to snap a personal five-game skid.

''Those guys are in first place,'' Anderson said. ''They have a heck of a record.''

The Cubs came in with a major-league leading 27-9 mark, but Anderson used near perfect execution to hold them down.

''When you execute pitches, I feel like you can get anybody out, no matter who it is,'' Anderson said. ''You could put nine Ken Griffey Jr.'s out there, but if you execute pitches, it is hard to hit.''

Ben Zobrist ended Anderson's no-hit bid with a double to the center field wall on the first pitch of the eighth.

Anderson was perfect through 5 1/3 innings before walking Miguel Montero on a 3-2 pitch. Then he regrouped by striking out Kyle Hendricks and Dexter Fowler.

Jason Heyward and Kris Bryant spoiled Anderson's shutout with solo homers in the ninth. Bryant drove Anderson's final pitch to the seats in left.

''When we play anybody right now, outside of the teams that already have targets on their backs, we're going to see that kind of performance,'' Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. ''He pitched well, but I was not displeased with our at-bats.''

Cubs fans joined the hometown crowd with a standing ovation while Anderson walked off the field.

Jeremy Jeffress got the final out for his 11th save.

It was Anderson's first victory since a 6-4 win over the Houston Astros on April 8, a span of six starts. The right-hander struck out six and walked one. He had gotten out of the sixth inning only twice so far this season.

''I think outings like that certainly restore some confidence, that's for sure,'' Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. ''I think Chase has been off at times just a little bit, but tonight, he put it together.''

Anderson took a no-hit bid into the seventh on June 12 last season with Arizona against San Francisco. He ended up allowing one hit over seven innings in a 1-0 win.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis made a leaping catch at the wall in center field to open the fourth inning, robbing Fowler of an extra-base hit and preserving the no-hit bid.

The Cubs had won seven straight at Miller Park, one shy of matching their longest winning streak at the 16-year-old stadium.

Hendricks (2-3) allowed Jonathan Lucroy's home run in the fourth, and then the Brewers pushed across three runs with one out in the sixth to chase him. Ryan Braun had an RBI single and Chris Carter a two-run double.

Lucroy hit a home run for the third consecutive game. Hendricks left the pitch out over the plate and Lucroy connected for his sixth of the season and a 1-0 Milwaukee lead.

Lucroy is batting .327 with 12 runs, three doubles, six home runs and five walks in May.

CUBS STILL THE BEST

Cubs came in with their best start through 36 games since the team was 28-8 to open the 1907 season. They slipped to 15-4 against the NL Central, but have gone 22-4 in their last 26 regular-season road games.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cubs: The Cubs agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract with Joe Nathan, a six-time All-Star reliever recovering from Tommy John surgery, and then placed the 15-year veteran on the 60-day disabled list as he continues to recover from surgery in April 2015. ... OF Matt Szczur, who has a mild right hamstring strain, is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Wednesday. Manager Joe Maddon said a rehab assignment is the next step

Brewers: Braun was back in the starting lineup after missing the previous two games with a sore right wrist. ... Manager Craig Counsell that said RHP Matt Garza (right lat) and RHP Corey Knebel (left oblique), who are both on the disabled list, could throw off the mound sometime this week. Garza has missed 38 games and Knebel 39.

UP NEXT

Cubs: RHP John Lackey (4-2, 3.54) is 5-1 with a 3.11 ERA in eight career starts against the Brewers, including 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA in five starts last season.

Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson (4-3, 3.51) makes his second start this season against the Cubs. He gave up three runs on two hits in 5 1/3 innings with four walks and six strikeouts in a 4-3 loss at Wrigley Field on April 26.

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