MILWAUKEE (AP) Mired in a 0-for-18 slump entering the game, Kirk Nieuwenhuis broke out in a big way.
Nieuwenhuis hit two home runs for his third career multi-homer game, matched a season high with three hits and set a season mark with four RBIs to help the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Saturday night.
''The last couple of days I just tried to change my mentality a little bit,'' Nieuwenhuis said. ''I've just been pressing a lot the last three or four weeks. It seems like even longer than that.''
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said Nieuwenhuis has been ''grinding'' during the rough stretch.
''But after a night like tonight, where he kind of drives the bus for you, and when you look at his season in total, he's doing a good job for us,'' Counsell said.
Zach Davies took a shutout into the seventh inning and Jonathan Lucroy also homered, giving Milwaukee the lead with a two-run shot in the first off John Lackey (7-7).
''He let one come back over the middle a little bit, and I was able to square it up,'' Lucroy said. ''It was a tough at bat, and I think I tired him out and he finally let one leak back out a little bit.''
Nieuwenhuis led off the fourth with a homer to center field, extending Milwaukee's lead to 3-0. Nieuwenhuis added a three-run homer to left in the eighth.
Davies (7-4) gave up one run and three hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked two.
''I felt good with my rhythm and was working at a pace I wanted to be at,'' Davies said.
Lackey, who has surrendered at least one home run in seven straight starts, gave up three runs and five hits in six innings.
Davies, who pitched seven scoreless innings in his last start, retired 10 consecutive batters before yielding a single to Ben Zobrist leading off the seventh. Zobrist scored on Addison Russell's single off Will Smith, who relieved Davies with one out in the inning.
''(Davies) has been really good. He's doing a nice job making pitches,'' Counsell said.
The Brewers loaded the bases with two outs in the third but Lackey escaped by striking out Chris Carter.
Milwaukee threatened again in the seventh, putting runners on second and third with one out. Cubs reliever Adam Warren then fired a pitch over catcher Willson Contreras' glove. With Hernan Perez racing down the third-base line attempting to score, Contreras retrieved the ball off of a carom and fired to Warren covering the plate, who tagged out a sliding Perez. The call was upheld after a review.
The two stolen bases by the Brewers on Friday put the team at a major league-leading 86 for the season, eclipsing last season's team mark of 84. The Brewers successfully executed a double steal on Saturday.
PITCHING A FIT
There was still buzz in Milwaukee on Saturday about newly retired Chicago Bears safety Charles Tillman, who said he was a guest of Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., throwing out a ceremonial pitch at Miller Park on Friday. Tillman tweeted: ''Northwestern Mutual had a suite and the 1st pitch and they asked me to do it (hash)relaxeveryone.''
OPEN AND SHUT
The game began with the retractable roof closed. It was opened after the first inning only to be closed again with the Brewers batting in the third as a rainstorm moved into the area.
Cubs: Reliever Joe Nathan, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, will join the club Sunday, manager Joe Maddon said. The 41-year-old Nathan has been on a 30-day rehab assignment in the Cubs minor-league system but hasn't appear in a major league game since April 6, 2015, with Detroit.
Brewers: OF Domingo Santana, on the DL since June 10 with right elbow soreness, started a rehab assignment Saturday with Class-A Wisconsin.
Cubs: Jon Lester (10-4, 2.89) will start against the Brewers for the first time this season and first time ever at Miller Park. In five career starts versus Milwaukee he is 2-2 with a 2.22 ERA.
Brewers: Junior Guerra (6-2, 3.06) will make his second start of the season against the Cubs. Guerra earned the victory in a May 15 start at Miller Park, giving up five hits and three runs over seven innings. He struck out a career-high 11 against Chicago.