CHICAGO (AP) — Yu Darvish bounced back from a pair of poor outings to allow only an unearned run in six innings, Addison Russell scored the go-ahead run on shortstop Eric Sogard’s seventh-inning error, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 on Friday.
Cubs slugger Kris Bryant missed his fourth straight game after he was beaned during a victory at Colorado last Sunday. Chicago manager Joe Maddon said the third baseman could return to the lineup on Saturday.
Darvish gave up nine runs, 14 hits and eight walks in his previous two outings, losses to Atlanta and Colorado. He yielded just three hits against the Brewers with eight strikeouts and two walks, lowering his ERA from 6.86 to 5.26. The four-time All-Star signed a $126 million, six-year contract with the Cubs and entered with just one solid outing: He allowed one run over six innings at Milwaukee on April 7.
Darvish got his second big league double and fifth hit with a drive into the right-field corner in the fifth inning against Brent Suter. After trotting into second, Darvish slipped, but he got to his feet and pitched a scoreless sixth.
He fell behind right at the start after Lorenzo Cain reached second as right fielder Jason Heyward dropped his fly leading off the game. Cain stole third and scored on Jesus Aguilar’s sacrifice fly.
Darvish was provided a lead the bottom half when Albert Almora Jr. doubled and scored on a single by Javier Baez, who stole second and came home on Anthony Rizzo’s single. Darvish left with the Cubs ahead 2-1, but Christian Yelich hit a seventh-inning sacrifice fly off Brian Duensing.
Addison Russell greeted Dan Jennings (2-1) with a single starting the bottom of the seventh, took second when Heyward sacrificed and was held by third base coach Brian Butterfield when pinch-hitter Victor Caratini singled to right.
Jeremy Jeffress fanned Almora for the second out and got Baez to bounce to Sogard, who allowed the ball to squib out of his glove near second, then threw wildly past the base while trying for an inning-ending forceout.
Pedro Strop (3-0) reired Aguilar — his only batter — on a flyout that ended the seventh. Brandon Morrow, the Cubs’ fifth reliever, pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save in six chances.
Suter allowed two runs and five hits in five innings. Milwaukee lost its second straight after an eight-game winning streak.
Brewers: INF/OF Ryan Braun didn’t start after playing first base in Thursday night’s 1-0 loss. He pinch hit in the seventh, flied out and remained in the game at first.
Cubs: Bryant wasn’t available to reporters before the game. “I think he’s feeling more like himself today,” Maddon said. … INF/OF Ben Zobrist (back tightness) could come off the DL when he is eligible to return on Saturday.
Milwaukee RHP Junior Guerra (2-0, 0.56) faces Cubs LHP Jose Quintana (2-1, 7.78) on Saturday. In three previous starts and 16 innings, Guerra has allowed only one earned run and 10 hits, but hasn’t gone longer than 5 2/3 innings. Quintana pitched six shutout innings and allowed three hits at Milwaukee on April 8, his only strong outing this season.