Happ was impressive again in the win (Benny Sieu - USA Today Sports)
Happ was impressive again in the win (Benny Sieu - USA Today Sports)

Happ powers Cubs past Milwaukee in extras


by - Senior Writer -

MILWAUKEE - Sometimes less is more, and for the Chicago Cubs (55-71), that was precisely the case on Friday. Kicking off a six-game road trip with the Milwaukee Brewers (65-59) at American Family Insurance Field, Freddie Peralta came out on fire as he set the tone from start to finish.

In fact, Peralta took a no-hitter into the seventh inning when Craig Counsell inexplicably pulled him at just 82 pitches. That move backfired as Ian Happ connected shortly after for the two-run shot to put the Cubs in front. Happ wasn't done as he added a second homer in the 10th, which was all the offense the Cubs would need as Chicago found a way to win 4-3 in 10 innings.

The final line for Peralta looks excellent as he went six innings of no-hit baseball while walking one and striking out five. His counterpart was Justin Steele, who continues to pitch like an Ace. Steele was on point again after a great outing last weekend against the Brewers, allowing just one run in 5 1/3 and four hits. He did walk four, but struck out six before exiting the game with lower back tightness. Hopefully, this is just a day-to-day thing because losing him for any time would be costly.

While the Cubs struggled to put the ball in play all game long, Willy Adames had the Brewers in business in the first, but his one-out double was wasted. The Brewers kept the pressure on the next two innings, putting a pair of runners on base in each of those frames. The third inning was their best scoring chance, with Christian Yelich leading the inning off with a single while the Adames walk put two on with no outs.

Like he has done all season, Steele dug deep when he had to and got out of that inning without any damage.

It took five innings for someone to cash in, with the Brewers striking first on the Tyrone Taylor leadoff shot to put the Brewers in front 1-0. Yelich followed that up with a walk before a pair of strikeouts, and a caught stealing ended another inning.

Just like the homer that put the Brewers on the board, it was a homer that got the Cubs offense going, but they had to wait until the seventh inning for it. With a leadoff error putting a runner on base for the Cubs, Happ took a Matt Bush pitch over the right field wall to not only put the Cubs in front 2-1, but he ended the no-hitter in dramatic fashion.

It was up to the Cubs pen to hold this lead, with Erich Uelmen tossing the first 1 2/3 scoreless frames before Brandon Hughes took care of the eighth. Trailing by one in the ninth, the Brewers kept things interesting with Rowdy Tellez tying things up with a homer off of Hughes. Things only got worse for the Cubs as an error followed by the Luis Urias walk put the winning run on second, and Sean Newcomb was thrown into a tough spot.

Not only did Newcomb pitch well, but despite allowing three flyball outs, none of them were too hard, as the teams would need extra innings to decide things. Much like last weekend in Wrigley when Devin Williams allowed a late homer to the Cubs, he was at it again, needing just two pitches to surrender the lead. It was Happ again coming through as his homer gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead.

Seiya Suzuki followed that up with a walk before the next three hitters went down to send things to the bottom of the ninth. Making his season debut and looking to lock down the save was Manny Rodriguez. The hard-throwing right-hander wasted little time getting a strikeout, but after a pair of singles to Andrew McCutchen and Hunter Renfroe made things 4-3, things were getting interesting.

Now with the bases loaded following a walk, the Brewers needed just a hit to walk off the Cubs. Instead, it was Rodriguez getting the job done as he induced a game-ending double play to lock down the save and gave the Cubs a 4-3 win.

The Cubs had just two hits in the game, with both coming as homers and both belonging to Happ.

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