Sloppy Cubs make it easy for Brewers to claim victory

Andrew Wagner, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


MILWAUKEE -- Give a team extra outs and it will come back to hurt.
The Cubs found that out -- again -- the hard way. They committed three errors on Saturday, which led to four runs and a 5-1 loss to the Brewers t Miller Park.
Combined with five errors in their three previous games, the Cubs have committed 15 errors, which ties Chicago for the league lead.
Chicago manager Dale Sveum was less that pleased.
"Seems to be the story every night," Sveum said. "It seems to be continuing -- that we can't seem to catch the ball or make a play when we have to make a play.
"This is obviously getting old. We've been doing this quite a bit. We are making mistakes that rookie ball people make. To win in the big leagues you have to have people that perform and perform in 162 days, not once in a while. Otherwise you lose your jobs.
"There is always options if you can't play. The big leagues is about performing. We haven't performed at all but in a couple of them."
Two errors came in the fifth, when Milwaukee snapped a 1-1 tie. Alfonso Soriano misplayed Logan Schafer's fly ball in short left, putting the Brewers' leadoff man at second. After Martin Maldonado walked, Yuniesky Betancourt grounded advancing both runners.
Schafer scored on pinch-hitter Blake Lalli's groundout. Norichika Aoki was next and reached when Starlin Castro bobbled the ball at short, allowing Maldonado to score and putting the Brewers ahead, 3-1.
Edwin Jackson, too, contributed to the Cubs' fielding woes, spoiling a potential inning-ending double play when he threw Logan Schafer's come-backer into centerfield when trying to catch Ryan Braun at second base.
The miscues tainted what was the best start of the season by Jackson, who signed a four-year, $52 million contract last winter. The only earned run he gave up came on a second-inning home run by Jonathan Lucroy. He scatted four hits and a walk with four strikeouts over six innings.
"It is the game of baseball," said Jackson, whose ERA dropped from 6.06 to 4.84 and is 0-3 on the season. "It is just one of those things. You can't really control wins and losses; just try to go out and give your team a chance to win.
"We just have to make plays when we have a chance."
The errors hurt Jackson's effort but proved a blessing for Milwaukee right-hander Hiram Burgos in his major-league debut. The right-hander held the Cubs to a run over five innings, giving up just five hits with one strikeout and became the first Brewers pitcher to win his first big league start since Yovani Gallardo in 2007.
"I'm just happy that I helped the team win," said Burgos, who was the organization's minor league pitcher of the year in 2012 when he went 10-4 with a 1.95 ERA in 28 games at all three levels of the Brewers' farm system. "That was my main thought; just go out there and give the team a chance to win the ball game."
Burgos used all of his pitches, especially a sharp change-up, and worked through the early innings with ease before running into trouble in the fourth.
With a 1-0 lead, Burgos struck out David DeJesus to open the fourth inning but Castro followed with a base hit to right for the Cubs' second hit of the day and advanced to second when Anthony Rizzo grounded out to second. Soriano evened the score at 1-1 with a single to right and moved to third on Nate Schierholtz's double down the left field line.
Burgos worked out of the jam, however, working the count full before getting Dioner Navarro to fly out to right.
"That was a really good outing," said Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke. "There was discussion in the fifth, do we try to score runs when we know he's only going one more inning. We thought that with guys in scoring position, we needed to hit [for Burgos]."
The Brewers' bullpen protected the lead for Burgos.
Brandon Kintzler threw two perfect innings while Michael Gonzalez and Burke Badenhop kept Chicago off the board for the final two innings as Milwaukee won its season-high sixth in a row and returned to .500.
Chicago has lost two in a row and five of the last six.
NOTES: Lucroy's home run extended his hitting streak to five games. ... Castro singled in the fourth, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. ... Brewers relievers are 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA and three saves in the last seven games. ... Castro has appeared in 212 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the National League and second only to Prince Fielder in Major League Baseball. ... Milwaukee is hitting .387 (12-for-31) with runners in scoring position over the last five games after hitting just .209 with runners in scoring position through the first 11 games of the season. ... Thirteen of the Cubs' 16 games this season have been decided by three runs or fewer. ... Entering play Saturday, the 36 walks allowed by Brewers pitchers are the fewest of any team in baseball. ... Chicago has lost seven in a row at Miller Park and 19 of the last 19.

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