CHICAGO (AP) — Travis Shaw hit a two-run homer to back Zach Davies, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep and close within two games of the NL Central leaders.
Chicago entered the series with a five-game division lead, a season high, but the defending World Series champions totaled three runs in the series. Milwaukee is tied for second in the NL Central with St. Louis.
Davies (17-8) allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings, Anthony Swarzak pitched a hitless eighth and Corey Knebel finished for his 34th save in 39 chances.
Kyle Hendricks (6-5) gave up three runs and four hits in six innings.
Rene Rivera put the Cubs ahead with a two-out RBI double in the second. Right fielder Hernan Perez didn’t break back initially, and the ball hit off his glove.
Stephen Vogt hit an RBI grounder in the fourth, and Shaw homered in the sixth.
Cubs C Willson Contreras (strained right hamstring) was activated, but the Cubs plan to ease their starting catcher back into action. He struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh. “The trainers feel really strongly about him being well, healed,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I think the best thing we can probably do is limit innings or whatever at the beginning as he builds back into it.” Contreras, sidelined since Aug. 11, had two rehab games with Class A Myrtle Beach. He caught five innings on Thursday and was the designated hitter on Friday.
Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson is out for the season with a partially torn labrum and strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder. No decision has been made on whether surgery will be necessary.
Cubs: RHP Jake Arrieta (right hamstring strain) played catch on Sunday. No determination has been made on when he’ll throw from a mound.
Brewers: Rookie RHP Brandon Woodruff (1-1, 1.52 ERA) starts Monday’s series opener against visiting Pittsburgh, which goes with LHP Steven Brault (0-0, 5.79).
Cubs: After a string of 20 straight games, Chicago is off Monday, the starts LHP Jose Quintana (5-3, 4.03 ERA) on Tuesday against the visiting New York Mets and RHP Robert Gsellman (6-6, 5.44).