Willson Contreras hits clutch home run as Cubs beat Brewers


by - Senior Writer -
Credit: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC
Credit: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC

MILWAUKEE — Willson Contreras and his newfound rivalry with the Milwaukee Brewers (6-5) has been the story of the season thus far for the Chicago Cubs (5-6), and the plot thickened on Tuesday. In a game that saw him get hit by a pitch thrown by a Brewers pitcher for the third time on the year, Contreras also came up clutch with a two-run homer that served as the winning hit. The eighth-inning dinger provided the Cubs with a 3-2 lead, and the North Siders went on to win at American Family Field by that very score.

In the top of the first, Anthony Rizzo drew a walk and stole second but did not score. Lorenzo Cain suffered a leg injury while running out a ground ball in the bottom of the first and left the game as a result. Javy Baez made a tremendous diving stop in the second inning, gloving a ground ball and flipping the ball out of his glove to Eric Sogard for a force play at second base. However, Luis Urias smacked a two-run dinger of Alec Mills in the very next at-bat. Manny Pina was plated via the dinger, which was Urias' first as a Brewer. Mills got the start because Kyle Hendricks was scratched prior to the game with an illness.

Jason Heyward made a sliding grab in right field to prevent Billy McKinney from coming up with a hit in the third. The drama surrounding Contreras began when his knuckles were grazed by a pitch from Woodruff in the bottom of fourth. Contreras was checking his swing when the pitch unintentionally hit him on the hand. Contreras was able to remain in the game and proceeded to reach third on a single by Rizzo. A sacrifice fly by Kris Bryant scored Contreras, making the score 2-1.

Contreras flied out to leave two men stranded in scoring position in the top of the fifth, with Avisail Garcia making a great catch in right field to rob Contreras of a hit. During the bottom half of the same inning, Ryan Tepera threw behind Brandon Woodruff on the first pitch of an at-bat, incensing Woodruff, who eventually calmed down and resumed his plate appearance. Tepera then struck Woodruff out on three consecutive strikes. Pedro Strop tossed a scoreless seventh in his first Cubs appearance since 2019, and Contreras skied the aforementioned go-ahead jack in the eighth.

Brent Suter got taken for a single off the bat of Ian Happ before Contreras hammered a beastly 438-foot shot out to left field. Contreras was fired up after taking Suter deep, and the Brewers never regained the lead. Craig Kimbrel entered with two outs and two men on base in the eighth and needed just one pitch to draw an inning-ending groundout. He garnered the save by closing out Chicago's 3-2 triumph in the ninth, thereby snapping a three-game losing skid by the North Siders.

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