May 31: Cubs (20-33) 8, Brewers (33-23) 0
Behind a stellar outing by starter Jason Hammel the Chicago Cubs easily cruised to an 8-0 drubbing of their division-rival Milwaukee Brewers. Hammel went seven shutout innings and Anthony Rizzo homered twice and totaled four RBIs in the win.
Chicago began its dominant game with runners in scoring position in the top of the fourth when Rizzo delivered his first big fly of the game. With Emilio Bonifacio on second, Rizzo hit his ninth dinger of the year on a fly ball to right-center.
Two innings later, still up 2-0, Rizzo was at it again as he connected on his 10th homer of the season – another two-run blast. Later that same frame the Cubs would add three more runs to put the game out of reach for the Brew Crew. With two away, Chris Coghlan started a string of three consecutive RBI hits with his single to center. John Baker and Darwin Barney then followed with run-scoring hits to extend the Chicago lead to seven.
Both offenses were held off the board until the Cubs added another run for good measure in the ninth. Bonifacio singled home Justin Ruggiano with two away to push the final run across.
In the bottom half of the ninth, Pedro Strop finished things off with a 1-2-3 frame against Milwaukee’s Logan Schafer, Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez.
Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta struggled in the game with six earned runs and two walks to his credit in 5.2 innings. He fell to 4-5 on the year.
Meanwhile, Hammel allowed just four hits and did not walk a batter in his seven shutout frames on the hill. He lowered his season ERA to 2.78 with his sixth win of the year.
Important things to note: Hammel has been a model of consistency for the struggling Cubs all season as he went at least five innings for his 11th consecutive start to begin the season. He has tossed at least seven innings in six of those starts … Chicago went 5-for-6 with runners in scoring position in the game … Six of the Cubs’ eight runs in the game were scored with two outs in the inning.