Corbin Burnes struck out 10 in six dominant innings and also delivered a two-run single for his first career RBIs as the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Chicago Cubs 7-0 on Wednesday.
Burnes allowed just two hits to continue his sizzling start to the season. His bases-loaded single up the middle capped the Brewers’ four-run outburst in the sixth.
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The 26-year-old right-hander has knocked home twice as many runs (two) as he has allowed (one) through his first three outings of the year.
This marked the franchise-record eighth straight game in which a Brewers starter worked at least five innings while allowing no more than one run.
Burnes’ performance helped the Brewers take two of three in the series and gain a measure of revenge one day after an emotionally charged 3-2 loss to the Cubs.
Milwaukee had given up a go-ahead, two-run homer to Willson Contreras on Tuesday after hitting him with a pitch earlier in the game. Cubs reliever Ryan Tepera threw a pitch behind Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff, who had thrown the pitch that hit Contreras.
Wednesday’s game saw no trouble in response. Milwaukee’s Keston Hiura was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning, without incident.
The Cubs had no answers for Burnes.
Burnes (1-1) has fanned 30 while allowing only four hits and no walks in 18 1/3 innings. He yielded just one hit in each of his first two starts, but the Brewers lost both games.
Although Burnes carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning April 3 against Minnesota, the Brewers mustered just one hit and struck out 17 times in a 2-0 loss to the Twins. Burnes left with a 1-0 lead Thursday at St. Louis, but the Cardinals rallied against Milwaukee’s bullpen to win 3-1.
This time, Burnes got a bit more help from his teammates.
The Brewers wasted no time taking a lead Thursday against Jake Arrieta (2-1), who struck out five and gave up three runs in five innings.
Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled to lead off the first and scored on Travis Shaw’s single. Shaw moved to third on Avisaíl García’s double and came home on Omar Narváez’s sacrifice fly.
Shaw extended the lead to 3-0 with a homer to left center in the third.
The Brewers broke the game open in the sixth as reliever Shelby Miller didn’t retire any of the five batters he faced.
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Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks was back in Chicago on Wednesday, one day after getting scratched from his scheduled start because he wasn’t feeling well. Manager David Ross said Tuesday that Hendrick tested negative for COVID-19 and none of his players have tested positive, but the Cubs are being cautious after bullpen coach Chris Young and first base coach Craig Driver both had positives tests.
“It feels like every day is sort of a new challenge with this,” Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. “How to distinguish what is seasonal allergies versus what is COVID symptoms, there’s no way to know, and I think because we have those two coaches who are positive, we have to act in a certain fashion.”
The Cubs activated C Austin Romine from the injured list, activated RHP Jason Adam off the COVID-19-related injured list and selected Miller from their alternate site in South Bend, Indiana. They designated C Tony Wolters for assignment and optioned RHP Adbert Alzolay and RHP Brad Wieck to the alternate site.
Brewers: OF Lorenzo Cain went on the 10-day injured list with a strained left quadriceps, and OF Christian Yelich missed a third straight game with a sore back. The Brewers recalled OF Tyrone Taylor.
The Cubs have Thursday off before opening a home series with Atlanta on Friday.
The Brewers are off Thursday before beginning a three-game home series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday. Scheduled starters are Adrian Houser (1-1, 1.80) for Milwaukee and JT Brubaker (1-0, 1.93) for Pittsburgh.