Ryan Braun hit a pair of two-run home runs and Jhoulys Chacin pitched seven shutout innings to pick up his 12th win of the year and lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 7-0 victory over the host Chicago Cubs on Tuesday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
Chacin (12-4) allowed three hits and two walks while striking out a season-high 10 for the Brewers, who leapfrogged Philadelphia, which lost to Boston later Tuesday night to drop one game behind Milwaukee, for the No. 1 wild-card spot in the National League while also closing to within two games of the first-place Cubs in the NL Central.
It was the second straight start that Chacin, who gave up four hits over six innings and struck out eight in a 1-0 win on June 13 at Miller Park, blanked Chicago and the third straight time that Milwaukee shut out the Cubs. Lorenzo Cain and Erik Kratz also homered for Milwaukee, which won for the first time in five games at Wrigley Field this year.
Corey Knebel and Dan Jennings each pitched a hitless inning of relief to complete the shutout, the eighth between the two teams in 12 meetings this season.
Chicago managed just three hits, all on doubles by Ben Zobrist, Ian Happ and Javier Baez. Jose Quintana (10-9) picked up the loss, allowing five runs on six hits and a walk over five innings while striking out five.
Quintana, who had allowed just five runs while compiling a 4-1 record and 0.92 ERA in seven career starts against the Brewers, gave up three runs on just nine pitches to start the game and five runs in the first two-plus innings.
Cain hit the second pitch of the game 422 feet into the bleachers in left-center, his ninth of the season and first career home run at Wrigley Field. One out later, Jesus Aguilar lined a single to right and then scored on Braun’s 397-foot homer to left, his 200th career hit against the Cubs.
The Brewers made it 5-0 in the third when Aguilar led off with a walk and Braun, who was 3-for-21 (.143) with no homers in his career against Quintana entering the game, followed with his second homer of the game, a 443-foot blast over the bleachers in left-center onto Waveland Avenue.
Kratz hit his fourth home run of the season off reliever Jesse Chavez in the sixth to center field to increase Milwaukee’s lead to 6-0. Kratz added a two-out RBI double in the eighth off Jorge De La Rosa to drive in Aguilar, who had opened the inning with a single.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon was ejected by home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi in the bottom of the sixth for arguing balls and strikes in defense of Zobrist, who was later tossed by Cuzzi before the top of the ninth.
—Field Level Media