For four straight days, Tyler Chatwood, Jose Quintana, Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks put on a pitching clinic.
A very stingy show.
Chatwood pitched seven sparkling innings and helped himself with an RBI single, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 2-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday and a sweep of the four-game series between NL Central rivals.
“There’s a strikeout in him. There’s a ground ball in him. Those are two great qualities for a pitcher,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He’s going to keep getting better.”
Chatwood (2-3) allowed two hits, struck out four and walked three in his second straight win. Carl Edwards Jr. worked the eighth and Brandon Morrow got three outs for his seventh save in seven chances, finishing Chicago’s second straight shutout and its fifth against Milwaukee — a franchise record for a single opponent in a calendar month.
The Brewers had won eight in a row before they were held to two runs and 14 hits in the sweep by the Cubs. Chicago’s starting pitchers — Hendricks, Darvish, Quintana and Chatwood — allowed an unearned run and 11 hits in 27 innings in the series.
“It’s pretty cool to be part of it,” Chatwood said. “You don’t want to be the guy left behind, so I think everybody’s kind of pushing each other and I think that’s what good rotations do.”
The two runs for Milwaukee marked the fewest allowed by Chicago in a four-game set since it also allowed two against Pittsburgh from June 2-4, 1919. The Cubs won four in a row with three or less runs in each game for the first time since at least 1908, according to the team.
“They pitched a little bit better than us, they hit a little better than us, they played better defense,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That led to us getting swept.”
Addison Russell had two hits, a sacrifice fly and scored a run as the Cubs improved to 7-1 against the Brewers this year and moved a season-high five games above .500.
Zach Davies (2-3) kept Milwaukee in the game for most of the day, but Chicago got to the right-hander for a run in the fifth and sixth — more than enough with the Brewers stumbling at the plate.
“Our pitching staff did a tremendous job again all weekend. We just couldn’t score any runs,” third baseman Travis Shaw said. “It’s tough to score runs here when the wind is blowing in. We’re kind of a home run-hitting team and we need to find other ways to score when that’s not there.”
Russell led off the fifth with a triple into the right-field corner. Davies then struck out Jason Heyward, but Chatwood lined a run-scoring single back up the middle for this first hit of the season.
Davies hurt himself in the sixth, hitting Anthony Rizzo with one out after Chatwood threw one up and in on Lorenzo Cain in the top half of the inning. Rizzo lingered in the batter’s box for a bit before going to first.
Willson Contreras followed with a double and Kyle Schwarber was intentionally walked to get to Russell, who drove in Rizzo with a fly ball to center for a 2-0 lead.
Albert Almora Jr. and Javier Baez each went 0 for 4 for the Cubs, stopping each of their career-high 11-game hitting streaks.
Wade Miley is joining Milwaukee’s rotation, bumping Brent Suter to the bullpen. The 31-year-old left-hander will make his first start with the team on Wednesday in Cincinnati.
Miley struck out 11 while pitching six scoreless innings for Double-A Biloxi on Friday, and the Brewers had to decide by Sunday whether to add him to the team or allow him to become a free agent.
“We thought he threw the ball very well on Friday night in Biloxi and think he earned that opportunity,” Counsell said.
Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson, who is coming back from right shoulder surgery, has been throwing from 150 feet for a while, but Counsell said the team remains pleased with his progress. “He’s not stuck. He’s playing catch and he’s got to clear hurdles to get to the next step,” Counsell said. “Everything’s in our eyes going really well.”
Brewers: Jhoulys Chacin (2-1, 3.99 ERA) pitches Monday night in the opener of a three-game series in Cincinnati. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA in his last two starts. Left-hander Brandon Finnegan (0-2, 8.03 ERA) gets the ball for the Reds.
Cubs: Jon Lester (2-1, 3.29 ERA) faces Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland (1-3, 4.33 ERA) on Monday night in the opener of a three-game set. Chicago won two of three against Colorado last weekend at Coors Field.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
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