MILWAUKEE – Hiram Burgos left all his jitters behind once he started pitching.
The right-hander allowed one hit in five innings during his major league debut, and Jonathan Lucroy homered to back him and help the Milwaukee Brewers to a 5-1 win over the Cubs on Saturday.
“I was very anxious before the game, waiting to go out there and warm up,” Burgos said. “As soon as I got out there and threw my first pitch, everything went away. I was very locked down.”
Burgos held the Cubs to five hits with a strikeout and no walks to help the Brewers win their sixth straight game.
“He had good command with the fastball. He threw some nice curveballs. His changeup was outstanding. He came out from the get-go throwing strikes. It was a really good outing,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “When you see a guy coming up for his first outing and to be able to command pitches like that, it tells you a lot about a guy.”
Burgos faced the minimum number of batters through the first three innings and the only run he allowed was on Alfonso Soriano’s single in the fourth. Three Brewers relievers combined to hold the Cubs scoreless over the last four innings.
“He was able to throw all his off-speed stuff when he got behind in the count. He had a good change up. He did a nice job for his first outing,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
The Brewers scored first when Lucroy hit his third home run of the season, a solo shot to left center field in the second inning off Cubs starter Edwin Jackson (0-3). Jackson lost to the Brewers for the second time this season.
Jackson, who lowered his ERA to 4.84 from over 6, held the Brewers to two hits through four innings. But the Brewers took advantage of shoddy fielding by Chicago. Two Cubs’ errors in the fifth led to a pair of unearned runs, giving the Brewers a 3-1 lead.
The Brewers extended the lead to 5-1 with two more unearned runs in the sixth. Ryan Braun singled. After Rickie Weeks struck out, Lucroy hit a bouncer back to the mound that Jackson cleanly fielded but his throw to second base sailed into center field, allowing Braun to advance to third.
Braun scored on a sacrifice bunt by Logan Schafer. A single by Martin Maldonado drove in Lucroy.
“We’re making the most of some of the things that have happened the last couple of days,” Roenicke said. “We’re playing better ball and we’re getting some breaks.
Jackson pitched six innings, giving up four hits and five runs, only one of them earned, with one walk on four strike outs.
“We just have to make plays when we have a chance,” Jackson said. “It is just a matter of going out and doing it. It is not an issue that anyone is panicking over. We are going to have bumps in the road but at the end of the day when we take the field we feel like we can beat anybody we play.”
Notes: With the win, the Brewers joined the 1977 Yankees as the only teams ever to start 2-8 and climb to .500 by winning their next six games. The Yankees won the World Series that season. “That’s what drives me crazy. You try to figure out how to get the team going and the next thing you know they go out and do it themselves,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “This is a baffling game.” ... The Brewers have won 17 of their last 19 games against the Cubs at Miller Park, including the last seven. ... Cubs SS Starlin Castro extended his hitting streak to 12 games, the longest active streak in the majors, with a bloop single to right field in the fourth inning. ... The Cubs were 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position and are now 17-for-115 (.148) this season. The Brewers pitching staff didn’t issue a walk in the game and has given up just 36 bases on balls for the season, fewest in the National League.