CHICAGO (AP) — Kyle Hendricks figured he was in great shape when he started throwing his fastball exactly where he wanted it to go.
Hendricks outpitched Chase Anderson with seven crisp innings, and the Chicago Cubs stopped Milwaukee’s eight-game win streak with a 1-0 victory over the Brewers on Thursday night.
“When my fastball command was good from the start, I knew everything would work off that,” Hendricks said. “So I was able to throw more curveballs. The action on that was good, even got a few strikes over with it. Everything just fell in line from there.”
Hendricks (2-1) allowed four hits, struck out five and walked none in his best outing this season. Anderson (2-2) stayed with him until Kyle Schwarber drove a 0-1 pitch over the wall in right for his seventh homer with one out in the sixth.
Carl Edwards Jr. worked the eighth and Brandon Morrow finished the six-hitter for his fifth save in five chances. With two outs and Ryan Braun on first, Travis Shaw flied out to the warning track in left.
“Just a really tightly, well-played baseball game,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
The Cubs had seven hits while playing without slugger Kris Bryant, who missed his third straight game after he was beaned during a victory at Colorado last weekend. Catcher Willson Contreras rested for most of the night before entering as a defensive replacement for the eighth.
Milwaukee got a two-out double in each of the first two innings but was unable to capitalize. Shaw flied out with Braun on second in the first, and Jett Bandy took a called third strike after Orlando Arcia’s hit in the second.
Anderson allowed five hits and walked one in seven innings. He had won each of his prior two starts.
“He threw a great game and I just tried to match that,” Anderson said. “And, you know, one pitch to Schwarber, I feel like if it’s up two, three inches he either pops it up or doesn’t hit it. I kind of put it where he likes it. Just one mistake.”
The right-hander got some help from Braun, who made his first start at first base since Eric Thames tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb during Tuesday night’s 5-2 victory at Kansas City. Braun and Jesus Aguilar are expected to fill in at first while Thames is sidelined.
With two outs and runners on first and second in the second, Braun made a great diving stop behind the bag and flipped to Anderson to retire Jason Heyward. Braun held out his right arm and pointed as Anderson stepped on the base, and then hustled into the dugout with his mouth open and his tongue out.
“That play against Heyward was nice,” Braun said. “That guy has probably taken away a solid 10 to 12 extra-base hits from me over the years. There are very few guys I would want to take an extra-base hit away from more, because of all the ones he’s taken from me.”
Hendricks’ defense also turned in a couple of nice plays. Albert Almora Jr. chased down Lorenzo Cain’s deep drive to center in the sixth, and second baseman Javier Baez robbed Braun of a hit with a leaping catch for the first out of the seventh.
STATS AND STREAKS
Baez and Almora each extended their hit streaks to a career-best nine games. Baez is batting .429 (18 for 42) during his surge, and Almora is hitting .385 (15 for 39) during his streak.
Brewers: Thames was examined by team physician Dr. William Raasch and plans to see another doctor in Phoenix on Friday. The slugger likely will have an operation. “The injury, it’s a surgery, I think you’re looking at a minimum of six weeks and then you’ve got to see how the individual feels,” manager Craig Counsell said.
Cubs: INF/OF Ben Zobrist (back tightness) ran the bases before the game. He could come off the disabled list when he is eligible to return on Saturday.
Yu Darvish (0-2, 6.86 ERA) starts for Chicago on Friday afternoon. The Japanese right-hander is off to a slow start in his first season with the Cubs, and Maddon said he had a conversation with the pitcher while the team was in Cleveland this week.
“This guy’s good. This guy’s going to show it. He’s going to show up,” Maddon said, “and the thing (is) as a manager, as a coach, I’m just trying to get him to respect this pitch and then respect that next pitch, but don’t try to over-evaluate it or make it more complicated than that because your stuff, I don’t know, top 10 in baseball probably.”
Brent Suter (1-2, 5.68 ERA) pitches for Milwaukee. The left-hander is 0-2 with a 5.75 ERA in his last four starts.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
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