Cubs shut out by Brewers in series opener

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by - Senior Writer -
Cubs starting pitcher Jose Quintana received no run support on the afternoon. (Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)
Cubs starting pitcher Jose Quintana received no run support on the afternoon. (Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)

CHICAGO, Ill. — Riding high after taking three of four in a 4-game series, the Chicago Cubs (22-14) suffered a letdown on Friday in their series opener with the rival Milwaukee Brewers (24-16). Beginning their weekend series at Wrigley Field with a 1-game lead over the Brewers atop the National League Central standings, the Cubs laid an egg in game one of the 3-game set, getting shut out 7-0 by the Brew Crew.

The Cubs went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position on the afternoon, mustering seven hits and four walks but no runs. Chicago starter Jose Quintana was handed the loss for his appearance, which lasted 6 2/3 innings and consisted of three runs being scored on four hits and three walks. Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun tabbed the first run off Quintana with a 411-foot solo shot to center field in the bottom of the fourth.

The Brewers chased Quintana from the game in the seventh, with a wild pitch helping Milwaukee's cause. After allowing the first two batters of the frame to reach base, Quintana threw a bad pitch that got by catcher Willson Contreras and led to the Brewers having men on second and third with zero outs. Yasmani Grandal then scored on a fielder's choice grounder hit by Mike Moustakas, and Moustakas was plated on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Ben Gamel later in the inning to put the Brewers up 3-0.

Chicago had a chance to get something going offensively out of the stretch, as the Cubs hit back-to-back singles to start the bottom half of the seventh. However, an unassisted double play turned by Brewers second baseman Hernan Perez on the third at-bat of the inning squelched that opportunity. Thereafter, Cubs infielder Addison Russell notched his first hit of the season with a double to right field that allowed Jason Heyward to reach third base, but pinch hitter Daniel Descalso popped out to the catcher to end the inning.

Milwaukee tacked on four insurance runs in the final two innings. A throwing error committed by Contreras on an attempted pickoff in the eighth led to Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich scoring via a sacrifice fly after taking third base on the errant throw. Braun then touched home plate for the second time on the day when Jesus Aguilar hit an RBI single up the middle. In the ninth, an infield single from Grandal and a bases-loaded walk drawn by Aguilar pushed two more runs across, resulting in the eventual final score of 7-0.

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