Cubs offense hushed by Anderson in 4-2 loss to Brewers
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Chicago Cubs expect the best from other teams, and sometimes they get it.
Chase Anderson took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and finished with 8 2/3 strong innings to lift the Milwaukee Brewers over the Cubs 4-2 on Tuesday night.
The Cubs entered averaging 5.94 runs per game, but Anderson (2-5) stopped them almost cold to snap a personal five-game skid.
“When we play anybody right now, outside of the teams that already have targets on their backs, we’re going to see that kind of performance,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “He pitched well, but I was not displeased with our at-bats.”
Kyle Hendricks (2-3) matched up well against Anderson through the middle frames. Hendricks allowed just an infield hit by Aaron Hill in the third and Jonathan Lucroy’s home run in the fourth before the Brewers pushed across three runs with one out in the sixth to chase him. Ryan Braun had an RBI single and Chris Carter a two-run double.
“I relied on my fastball a little too much,” Hendricks said. “Just got to mix up speeds some more, throw in my curveball and my four-seam fastball.”
The Cubs came in with a major-league leading 27-9 mark, but Anderson used near perfect execution to hold them down. Ben Zobrist ended Anderson’s no-hit bid with a double to the wall in center on the first pitch of the eighth.
“With a guy pitching that well, that’s where I got to really buckle down and keep us in it, one or two runs is all,” Hendricks said. “Like you saw there, we came back and scored two in the end. If I can keep it to one or two, I knew that’s where I had to keep it.”
Anderson was perfect through 5 1/3 innings before walking Miguel Montero on a 3-2 pitch. Then he regrouped by striking out Hendricks and Dexter Fowler.
Jason Heyward and Kris Bryant spoiled Anderson’s shutout with solo homers in the ninth. Bryant drove Anderson’s final pitch to the seats in left. It was Heyward’s first home run as a Cub.
Cubs fans joined the hometown crowd with a standing ovation while Anderson walked off the field.
“It was pretty impressive,” Hendricks said. “I watched a little bit of the end of it in here. Hitting his spots, mixing speeds well, more what I needed to do today, honestly.”
Jeremy Jeffress got the final out for his 11th save and preserved Anderson’s first victory since a 6-4 win over the Houston Astros on April 8, a span of six starts. The right-hander struck out six and walked one.
Anderson took a no-hit bid into the seventh on June 12 last season with Arizona against San Francisco. He ended up allowing one hit over seven innings in a 1-0 win.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis made a leaping catch at the center field wall to open the fourth inning, robbing Fowler of an extra-base hit and preserving the no-hit bid.
The Cubs had won seven straight at Miller Park, one shy of matching their longest winning streak at the 16-year-old stadium.
Jonathan Lucroy hit a home run for the third consecutive game. Hendricks left the pitch out over the plate and Lucroy connected for his sixth of the season and a 1-0 Milwaukee lead.
CUBS STILL THE BEST
Cubs came in with an MLB-leading 27-9 record, their best start through 36 games since the team was 28-8 to open the 1907 season. They slipped to 15-4 against the NL Central.
Cubs: The Cubs agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract with Joe Nathan, a six-time All-Star reliever recovering from Tommy John surgery, and then placed the 15-year veteran on the 60-day disabled list as he continues to recover from surgery in April 2015. ... OF Matt Szczur, who has a mild right hamstring strain, is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Wednesday. Manager Joe Maddon said a rehab assignment is the next step
Cubs: RHP John Lackey (4-2, 3.54) is 5-1 with a 3.11 ERA in eight career starts against the Brewers, including 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA in five starts last season.
Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson (4-3, 3.51) makes his second start this season against the Cubs. He gave up three runs on two hits in 5 1/3 innings with four walks and six strikeouts in a 4-3 loss at Wrigley Field on April 26.