Lake's grand slam paces Cubs' victory

Jack McCarthy, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- After hitting a first-inning grand slam Junior Lake might have been tempted to try for another long ball in his next at bat.
The Cubs rookie outfielder instead delivered a perfect bunt to load the bases in the fourth inning, leading to another two runs as Chicago went on to an 8-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
"Yeah, I know I could hit another homer, but it's not about me, it's about the team," Lake said. "So it helped the team better with the bunt."
Lake's first Major League grand slam came on a 1-0 pitch in the bottom of the first inning off Brewers starter Kyle (9-9) and padded an early Cubs lead.
The victory was the second straight for Chicago, which moved into a fourth-place tie with Milwaukee in the NL Central. The Brewers lost for the sixth time in seven games.
Cubs left-handed starter Chris Rusin did not make it through the fourth inning and had no decision. Reliever Carlos Villanueva (5-8) worked 2 1/3 innings for the win while Kevin Gregg pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 30th save.
Lake went 2-for-5 with four RBIs, while Anthony Rizzo and Donnie Murphy each went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Brewers third baseman and ex-Cub Aramis Ramirez was also 2-for-5.
Nate Schierholtz's one-out single drove home Darwin Barney for a 1-0 lead that preceded Lake's slam. Lake's two-out home run, his fifth of the season, landed in the left field bleachers.
"(Lohse) missed location," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "And when he missed location, they didn't miss the pitch. He didn't make too many quality pitches in the first inning, and after that he was a little bit better."
The Brewers got one run back when they put runners on second and third in the second. Norichika Aoki's one-out sacrifice fly to left off Rusin drove in Jeff Bianchi.
Ramirez had a one-out solo home run to left in the third, cutting the deficit to 5-2.
Chicago loaded the bases with one out in the third with the help of Lake's bunt. That gave Rusin an opportunity to help his cause with the bat.
An .071 hitter, Rusin collected two RBIs when he singled up the middle, scoring Ryan Sweeney and Murphy to give the Cubs a 7-2 lead.
"I guess (the hit) kind of salvaged the day where I could get two RBIs," Rusin said. "I was a little wild today, had a tough time trying to find a rhythm. But the bullpen did a great job. They came in and closed the door."
Rusin lasted 3 2/3 innings and threw 85 pitches before departing in favor of Villanueva. Rusin allowed two earned runs on seven hits, while walking two and striking out one.
Villanueva entered with two runners on but struck out Jonathan Lucroy to end the inning. He had five strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings of no-hit, no-run work.
Lohse (9-9) lasted five innings, allowing seven earned runs on 11 hits. He struck out three and walked just one.
"It was tough; we couldn't get it going," Lohse said. "It seemed like the first three or four hits were all on hanging sliders and that was a pretty big hole to put us in.
Milwaukee's Scooter Gennett slammed his first career pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning off Cubs reliever Pedro Strop to cut the deficit to 7-5.
The Cubs made it 8-5 in the eighth when Murphy scored from third on pinch hitter Brian Bogusevic's grounder to Brewers shortstop Jean Segura. The throw to home to catcher Murphy was off target and ruled an error.
NOTES: Milwaukee LF Khris Davis was a late lineup scratch due to left wrist soreness. ... Minor league 1B Jason Rodgers was named Brewers Minor League player of the year on Friday. He played the entire season at Double-A Huntsville and hit .270 with 22 homers and a Southern League-leading 87 RBIs. ... RHP Johnny Hellweg (0-3, 10.97 ERA) was named Minor League pitcher of the year. Hellweg, 24, spent most of the season at Triple-A Nashville and went 12-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 23 starts. He'll start Saturday against the Cubs. ... The Cubs will send RHP Jake Arrieta (2-1, 3.77 ERA). ... Manager Dale Sveum said the Cubs are unlikely to make any more September call-ups after a flurry this week. "There's a 99 percent chance no one else is coming," he said. ... RHP Scott Baker will make his first Major League appearance since 2011 when he starts Sunday's game against Milwaukee. The 31-year-old Baker, recovering from Tommy John surgery, "has done everything we've asked and there haven't been any setbacks," Sveum said. ... The Cubs temporarily took over the big league lead with home runs at home with Lake's grand slam. They now have 95, one ahead of Baltimore, which was set to host the White Sox later Friday.

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