Brewers break scoreless tie in 8th and beat Cubs 5-1 in Craig Counsell's return to Milwaukee

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Monday, May 27, 2024

MILWAUKEE -- - Willy Adames hit a three-run homer during Milwaukee's five-run eighth inning, and the Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 5-1 on Monday in Craig Counsell's return to American Family Field.

Counsell, the winningest manager in Brewers history, left Milwaukee after last season when the Cubs signed him to a five-year contract worth over $40 million. He already had managed against his former team when the Cubs took two of three from the Brewers at Wrigley Field from May 3-5.

"I feel a lot of us were waiting for this series because it's always intense when you're playing the Cubs, especially when we've got Counsell coming for the first time after he left," Adames said.

The Brewers welcomed Counsell back with a brief thank-you video message on the scoreboard that was accompanied by a chorus of boos from Brewers fans in the sellout crowd of 41,882. Counsell was booed every time he left the dugout.

"I think the fans are here to enjoy a day and enjoy a baseball game," Counsell said. "They get to do what they want. Hopefully they had a good time."

The Cubs lost their fifth straight and wasted a brilliant performance from Justin Steele, who spent most of the day matching scoreless innings with Milwaukee's Robert Gasser. The Cubs didn't arrive in Milwaukee until early Monday morning following a 4-3 loss at St. Louis in a rain-delayed game Sunday night.

The NL Central-leading Brewers moved 4 games ahead of the second-place Cubs.

Steele pitched seven innings before the Brewers broke through against Mark Leiter Jr. (1-3) and Hayden Wesneski in the eighth. Milwaukee's Bryan Hudson (3-0) worked his way out of a jam in the seventh and handled the eighth for the win.

"Justin was awesome," Counsell said. "It was a great pitchers' duel. Both pitchers were outstanding. Both pitchers were kind of on the attack. It just felt like every hitter was in a hole every single at-bat, from both sides."

Cubs starting pitchers have combined to throw 25 1/3 shutout innings in four games against the Brewers this season. Milwaukee went scoreless against Wesneski, Jameson Taillon and Javier Assad at Wrigley earlier this month.

But the Brewers have feasted on the Cubs' bullpen. They did it again on Monday.

Sal Frelick started the eighth with a pinch-hit single, and Brice Turang was walked by Leiter. William Contreras then hit a potential double-play grounder with a 104.9 mph exit velocity - the third-highest of the game - that went off the glove of third baseman Nick Madrigal and into left field. Frelick scored on Madrigal's error.

After Leiter struck out Christian Yelich, Adames greeted Wesneski with a 427-foot drive over the center-field wall on a 3-0 sinker. Jackson Chourio capped the rally with a two-out double that brought home Joey Ortiz.

"I don't really like to swing 3-0, but today, it was just the right opportunity, the right moment, the right situation," Adames said. "I think today was one of those situations where you're like really confident about swinging 3-0, and we got the results we wanted."

Seiya Suzuki walked and Cody Bellinger singled off Hoby Milner to start the ninth. After Christopher Morel struck out looking, Patrick Wisdom hit a sacrifice fly for the Cubs.

The game ended with Dansby Swanson flying out to the warning track in left.

Gasser struck out seven - surpassing his previous career total of six - and walked none in six innings. The rookie left-hander has a 1.96 ERA through his first four career starts.

After allowing one hit in the first six innings, Gasser allowed consecutive singles to Suzuki and Bellinger to open the seventh.

Hudson then struck out Morel and retired Wisdom on a broken-bat popup before Swanson struck out looking to end the threat.

UP NEXT

RHP Ben Brown (1-1, 3.20 ERA) pitches for the Cubs and RHP Freddy Peralta (3-3, 3.81 ERA) starts for the Brewers on Tuesday.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

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