MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke wanted to get outfielder Caleb Gindl going so he gave him a start against the Chicago Cubs.
The decision paid off when the Brewers' rookie outfielder got three hits, including a two-run home run, to lead the Brewers to a 6-1 win over the Cubs on Monday night.
"I appreciate the fact that he had the confidence to put me in there," said Gindl, who homered for the second straight game. "It felt good tonight and I felt like I'm starting to get my swing back."
Roenicke started Gindl because he had good stats against Cubs starter Edwin Jackson. He even let Gindl hit against Cubs left-handed reliever Zac Rosscup in the seventh inning and Gindl came through hitting his home run.
"He really had a nice night," Roenicke said. "We talked about pinch hitting at that point, but he did a really nice job of driving that ball to center field."
The other bright spot for the Brewers was the pitching of Wily Peralta, (10-15) who pitched six strong innings, giving up an unearned run on five hits. He struck out seven and walked two.
Roenicke was impressed with Peralta because he did not have his best stuff, but kept Milwaukee in the game.
"He scuffled off and on, but he made good pitches when he needed to," Roenicke said. "It is really important that even when he doesn't have his best stuff that he can keep us in the game."
The Brewers' fourth win in five games moved them 3½ games above Chicago at the bottom of the NL Central.
"I never want to finish in last place," Roenicke said. "We are still playing to win every game."
Jackson (8-16) lasted only four innings for the Cubs, giving up two runs on only two hits and three walks. Jackson has the most losses of any pitcher in the NL. Peralta is second with 15.
After Jackson was pulled from the game for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning, television cameras showed him and Cubs manager Dale Sveum having words as Jackson headed to the clubhouse.
Several Cubs players and coaches moved toward the two as Jackson continued walking down the tunnel.
"He wasn't real happy being taken out of the game," Sveum said. "You respect that when players want to stay in the game, but I made that decision."
Sveum said Gindl's key hits were the difference in the game.
"The biggest part of the game was our lefties not being able to get Gindl out," he said.
The Brewers got their first hit off Jackson in the fourth inning when Scooter Gennett blooped a single to left field. Gindl followed with a triple off the center-field wall to score Gennett.
Martin Maldonado dropped a sacrifice bunt to score Gindl and Jackson threw the ball past Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo allowing Maldonado to take second. Jackson got Peralta to line out and struck out Norichika Aoki to get out of the inning.
Chicago cut the lead to 2-1 in the fifth inning. Welington Castillo led off with a flyball down the right field line that Gennett got a glove on but couldn't catch. It was ruled a double, with Castillo taking third after Aoki's relay throw went over the head of shortstop Jean Segura. Castillo scored on Starlin Castro's single.
Milwaukee extended the lead to 4-1 in the sixth inning on Yuniesky Betancourt's pinch-hit RBI single and Segura's RBI double.
Gindl hit his fifth home run of the season in the seventh inning, a two-run shot that pushed the lead to 6-1.
Notes: Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez returned to the starting lineup. He missed two games after being hit on the left wrist Friday by a pitch from Cincinnati's Mat Latos. . Rookie LF Khris Davis missed his second straight start after reinjuring his left wrist Saturday against the Reds. . Cubs 2B Darwin Barney entered the game leading NL second-baseman with a .993 fielding percentage. Golden Glove ballots were distributed this week.