CHICAGO -- Rookie Logan Schafer's three-run triple in the Brewers' four-run fourth inning turned out to be the offensive highlight of the game, ultimately providing the game-deciding runs as Milwaukee beat the Chicago Cubs 5-3 Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
The Brewers and Cubs both came into the day with identical 60-80 records, far out of the playoff picture in the National League with almost a month still left to play.
Still, the managers of both teams said there are plenty of motivational factors to keep their guys grinding away -- even when the games they're playing don't really mean all that much in the NL Central standings.
"Selfishly, they're still playing for numbers, they're still playing for contracts, they're still trying to stay in the big leagues (and) the young guys are trying to get in the big leagues," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I think when you play for the spoiler (role), we have a big opportunity to do that with all the teams in our division that we play -- so there's a lot of things to play for. Hopefully they're playing to win. That's what ultimately I hope they do, but there are so many other things to motivate them to play hard and to keep going and get after it."
Saturday's game was a prime example, as both sides played a number of fresh faces.
Milwaukee rookie starter Johnny Hellweg (1-3) picked up his first career win by throwing six innings, while Jim Henderson recorded his 23rd save.
After Luis Valbuena got the Cubs a quick 2-0 lead with a two-run homer off Hellweg in the second, the Brewers responded two innings later with those four runs off Cubs starter Jake Arrieta (2-2), who took the loss despite getting through the first three innings without allowing a hit.
Schafer's bases-loaded triple capped the fourth for Milwaukee, coming one spot in the batting order ahead of Hellweg to give Milwaukee a 4-2 lead. It also made Arrieta pay for walking two and allowing a single to load the bases.
The Brewers threatened again in the seventh against the Cubs' bullpen but failed to score despite putting runners on first and second with one out against Chang-Yong Lim, a 37-year old South Korean right-hander making his major league debut.
After a quick meeting on the mound -- with a translator assisting Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio -- Lim got Jean Segura to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Arrieta lasted just five innings and allowed four runs on three hits, all in the fourth. Hellweg went six innings for the Brewers, giving up three runs on four hits and three walks.
After falling behind, Chicago got a run back on Brian Bogusevic's solo homer to right field off Hellweg in the sixth but couldn't come all the way back.
The Brewers, who are playing without most of their regular starters because of injuries and the suspension to Ryan Braun, improved to just 19-60
in games when the opponent scores first.
NOTES: Scott Baker is set to make his season debut for the Cubs on Sunday in the series finale against the Brewers. Baker, who's been recovering from Tommy John surgery, made eight rehab starts in the minors. He hasn't pitched in the majors since Sept. 24, 2011 with the Minnesota Twins. ... Castro has
hit leadoff for 16 straight games, hitting .279 coming into Saturday's contest. Sveum has no current plans to move him down in the order anytime soon. ... Brewers CF Carlos Gomez entered the game as a pinch-hitter, but didn't start because manager Ron Roenicke thought he needed a day to rest a nagging sore knee. ... OF Khris Davis didn't start for Milwaukee on Saturday and remains day-to-day with a pinched nerve in his wrist.