Anthony Rizzo, Cubs rock Brewers
MILWAUKEE—Anthony Rizzo hit two two-run homers and Jason Hammel tossed seven strong innings Saturday, lifting the Chicago Cubs to an 8-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Both of Rizzo’s homers came on full-count pitches and went deep to right, the second one into the second deck to give the Cubs a four-run lead in the sixth.
It was more than enough support for Hammel (6-3), who frustrated the Brewers by mixing a fastball in the low 90s with a tough slider. He allowed just four hits while striking out a season-high eight to help Chicago snap a three-game losing streak.
The Cubs chased Brewers starter Wily Peralta (4-5) in the five-run sixth that started with a single from Hammel, who later scored on Rizzo’s homer.
It delighted a healthy showing of Cubs fans that made the short trip north from Chicago. They cheered and whistled their last-place team on a warm, bright afternoon that made for ideal conditions for baseball.
Many of those out-of-towners wore No. 44 shirts for Rizzo, the left-handed first baseman who returned to the lineup Saturday after getting his first day off of the season. The rested Rizzo rewarded his backers with his fifth career multi-homer game, and first since Aug. 21, 2013 against Washington.
His first homer in the fourth Saturday came two batters after a safe call on runner Emilio Bonifacio at second was confirmed following a Brewers replay challenge. Milwaukee was hoping Bonifacio would turn into the front end of a double play.
Peralta had one his worst outings of the season after being charged for six runs and five hits. His ERA rose from 2.12 to 2.73 following an outing of 5 2/3 innings.
Peralta was also on the losing end in the Cubs’ 4-0 win over Milwaukee on April 27 at Miller Park, when Hammel held the Brewers scoreless over seven innings and struck out seven.
He was just as tough Saturday in halting the Brewers’ nine-game streak of having at least 10 hits.
NOTES: The replay review took about 1 minute, 45 seconds. … Cubs manager Rick Renteria said RHP Hector Rondon’s wife gave birth to a boy Friday, when Rondon was placed on the three-day paternity list. Renteria left open the possibility that his closer could return for the series finale Sunday afternoon against Milwaukee. … After stealing second, the Brewers’ Carlos Gomez was awarded third on an interference call by second base umpire Paul Emmel on Cubs 2B Darwin Barney, who was in the way while Gomez tried to advance on an errant throw. … Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez (hamstring) is scheduled to begin a two-day rehab stint Sunday at the team’s Class-A affiliate in Appleton and could be activated off the 15-day disabled list either Tuesday or Wednesday. …… Cubs RH Jeff Samardzija (1-4) faces the Brewers’ Kyle Lohse (6-1) on Sunday.