Fiers works 7 1-3 innings as Brewers beat Cubs 3-1
CHICAGO The Milwaukee Brewers are by no means a great road team — until they get to Wrigley Field.
Mike Fiers tossed 7 1-3 solid innings to lead the Brewers to a 3-1 win over the Cubs on Wednesday night, their eighth straight victory against Chicago.
The Brewers improved to 6-1 at Wrigley in 2012, while their overall road mark is 24-39.
Fiers (8-6) held the Cubs to four hits and struck out six, helping Milwaukee beat its division rival for the 13th time in 16 games this season. The Brewers have won eight of their last nine overall and moved within five games of .500 for the first time since July 21.
“Wherever we’re at we try to win,” Fiers said. “So it’s not like we’re playing not as hard other places. We just happen to be better here.”
Fiers sent down 14 straight batters at one point and won his second straight start, but Milwaukee’s streak of eight straight games with at least 10 strikeouts came to an end. It was the longest such streak since 1900.
“As soon as he got the curveball going ... that big slow curveball really sets up his other pitches well,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Fiers.
John Axford finished up for his 22nd save in 30 chances.
Jeff Samardzija (8-12) gave up seven hits and three runs — two earned — in seven innings for the Cubs. He struck out 10 for his third double-digit strikeout game of the season.
Jean Segura stroked a go-ahead single in the seventh and scored an insurance run when Chicago committed two errors after Segura’s steal of second base.
“He’s a good player,” Roenicke said of Segura. “He’s going to keep getting better and it will be fun to see him in a year or two. “I think there’s going to be so much improvement from him.”
Segura also made a beautiful diving stop deep in the hole at shortstop and threw out Alfonso Soriano at first in the first inning.
“It was my best game,” the rookie said. “Not because I bring the winning run, but because I have good offense and helped the team win.”
Norichika Aoki and Ryan Braun had two hits apiece for Milwaukee.
Bryan LaHair singled and scored on Darwin Barney’s fielder’s choice in the second for the Cubs’ only run. Chicago has dropped 22 of 28 and has scored two runs or less 11 times in August.
Samardzija has received two runs or fewer of support while on the mound in nine of his last 10 starts, but has lasted at least seven innings in eight of those outings.
“It is what it is,” he said. “You show up every day like a professional and do your job. I go out and give everything I got every day to win a ballgame. That’s not going to change.”
The bumbling Cubs fell to 31 games under .500, their worst mark since Sept. 30, 2006, and looked the part during Milwaukee’s two-run rally in the seventh that was aided by three errors.
Nyjer Morgan reached on a bunt single and went to second when Samardzija’s throw sailed up the right field line. He went to third when Samardzija uncorked a wild pitch, and scored on Segura’s solid single to left.
Segura stole second and dashed for third when Welington Castillo’s throw bounced past Starlin Castro. Barney backed up the play and threw to third, but Luis Valbuena missed the ball, allowing Segura to score.
Barney was initially charged with the second error on the play, but after the inning the official scorer gave the miscue to Valbuena. That allowed Barney to extend his streak of consecutive errorless games at second base to 114 games, breaking the National League record of 113 games set by San Diego’s David Eckstein in 2010.
The major league record is 141 games, established by Detroit’s Placido Polanco in 2007.
NOTES: The Cubs named Brandon Hyde the club’s director of player development, promoting him from his role as minor league field coordinator. Hyde, 38, joined the Cubs during the offseason after spending nine years in the Marlins organization. He will assume the duties of former vice president of player development Oneri Fleita, who was fired on Aug. 15. ... Former Cubs reliever Scott Maine was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday. Maine was designated for assignment by the Cubs on Monday. ... LaHair entered the game hitting just .164 (12 for 73) since making the NL All-Star team for the first time. LaHair had a streak of reaching base 32 straight games from April 8 to May 15 earlier this season.
Last updated: 5:03 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013