Hairston, Cubs break through late, beat Brewers
CHICAGO It was a typical cold, windy night at Wrigley Field that had Scott Hairston a bit concerned.
Hairston had a go-ahead pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the eighth inning and David DeJesus added a two-run single, lifting the Chicago Cubs over the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 on Tuesday night.
“Halfway to first, I had some doubts,” Hairston said. “Initially, when I hit it, I thought it was hit hard enough to score the run, but that wind was howling.”
After Dioner Navarro drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases, Alfredo Figaro relieved and Hairston lofted a high fly to Carlos Gomez in shallow center. Nate Schierholtz tagged up and just beat Gomez’s throw at the plate.
“My heart kind of dropped when I saw the throw being made,” Hairston said, “because it was a good throw.”
Carlos Marmol (1-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win, and Kyuji Fujikawa worked a scoreless ninth for his second save, stranding two runners when he got Jonathan Lucroy to pop out.
The Cubs rallied from an early 3-0 deficit.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was in the dugout after spending part of the day at a hospital emergency room because of back pain.
One day after being demoted as the Brewers’ closer, John Axford (0-2) allowed a leadoff double to Schierholtz in the eighth. Schierholtz advanced to third on Welington Castillo’s sacrifice bunt and Luis Valbuena was intentionally walked, setting up Hairston’s heroics.
Axford, who got one out to end the seventh, has given up six earned runs in four appearances.
“I was told pretty much right away I was going back out. I was maybe more surprised at the situation. Tie ballgame, I was out there again,” Axford said.
Roenicke said his choices were limited with a taxed bullpen.
The gametime temperature was 39 degrees and there was a steady wind. The Brewers took advantage of two Cubs errors to score three runs in the second.
“Those elements, both sides, you can tell they were a little defensive playing defense because you can’t feel the baseball or anything like that,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
Sveum was forced to go with Marmol in the eighth with Shawn Camp being limited because of a heavy workload. Marmol was met with plenty of boos on opening day because of his early struggles.
“Camp was down today, so he was going to pitch in that situation with Camp down,” Sveum said. “Nothing but right-handed hitters coming at you, they all have great numbers off left-handed pitching. Whatever situation I am bringing him, he’s basically just not the closer anymore.”
Gomez led off with a single and scored from first on Jean Segura’s double. Yuniesky Betancourt reached on an infield single and Castillo, the catcher, made a wild pickoff throw to second. Shortstop Starlin Castro then made a low throw to the plate on a grounder, followed by a diving stop but off-target flip on an infield single.
A throwing error by third baseman Alex Gonzalez helped the Cubs come back in the fifth, setting up Anthony Rizzo’s RBI grounder.
Chicago scored twice in the seventh to make it 3-all. Castro had an RBI grounder and Rizzo doubled home the tying run.
Cubs starter Travis Wood pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up two earned run and seven hits.
“I have been fortunate to throw the ball well in my last two outings,” Wood said. “I ran into trouble in the second and I was able to come back after that and go into in the seventh. I had a high pitch count after the first two innings, but I was able to settle in and have some quick innings, get deep in the game, keep us in the game and the hitters did their job and we pulled it out.”
Notes: Brewers RHP Kyle Lohse is Wednesday night’s scheduled starter. He allowed one run in six innings in his Milwaukee debut on Friday. RHP Scott Feldman is the scheduled starter for the Cubs on Wednesday. He gave up four runs and five hits in a loss to the Braves on Friday.