Keston Hiura homers twice as Brewers beat Cubs 5-2

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CHICAGO — Keston Hiura homered twice and drove in three runs, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 5-2 on Sunday to salvage the finale of their weekend series.

Rowdy Tellez also connected and Willy Adames hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly for Milwaukee, which had dropped three of four. The Brewers blew three one-run leads during a 6-5 loss to the Cubs in 11 innings on Saturday.

Brent Suter (5-3) got four outs for the win on manager Craig Counsell’s 52nd birthday, and Taylor Rogers worked the ninth for his first save since he was acquired in the Aug. 1 trade that sent Josh Hader to San Diego.

Heading into Sunday’s action, Milwaukee trailed NL Central-leading St. Louis by five games.

Chicago wasted a stellar performance by Justin Steele, who struck out nine in six scoreless innings. Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki homered, but the Cubs finished with just five hits.

Chicago had won five in a row and nine of 12 overall.

Adames put Milwaukee ahead to stay when he drove in Kolten Wong with a fly ball to center in the eighth. Wong reached on a leadoff pinch-hit single and advanced to third on two wild pitches by Rowan Wick (3-6).

Hiura made it 5-2 when he hit a two-run shot off Kervin Castro in the ninth. It was Hiura’s second career multihomer game.

Steele allowed two hits – both singles – and walked one. The left-hander is winless in his last five starts, but he has a sparkling 0.79 ERA and 33 strikeouts over his last 22 2/3 innings.

While Steele cruised along for Chicago, Brandon Woodruff kept Milwaukee in the game with 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball. The big right-hander is unbeaten in his last 10 outings.

Woodruff got off to a taxing start when he needed 13 pitches to retire leadoff man Nick Madrigal on a fly ball to right. After Nico Hoerner grounded out, Happ hit a drive to right for his 13th homer this season and No. 100 for his career.

Suzuki added his 10th homer in the fourth, reaching the basket in center, but Milwaukee jumped on Chicago’s bullpen in the seventh.

On Mark Leiter Jr.’s first pitch after Andrew McCutchen was caught stealing, Tellez hit a drive to right-center for his 26th homer. Manager David Ross then brought in rookie left-hander Brandon Hughes, and Hiura went deep for his 11th homer on the year.

It was Milwaukee’s fifth set of back-to-back homers this season.

HE’S HERE

Former Cubs left-hander Jon Lester, who helped the team win the 2016 World Series, got a big ovation when he was shown on the videoboard in left field. He stood and acknowledged the cheers with a couple waves.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: INF/OF Jace Peterson (left elbow sprain) is expected to begin a rehab stint with High-A Wisconsin on Tuesday.

Cubs: 3B Patrick Wisdom was out of the starting lineup after he hurt the ring finger on this left hand during Saturday’s 11-inning victory. X-rays were negative, and Ross said Wisdom is day to day. … Ross said LHP Wade Miley was feeling better after recently experiencing more shoulder discomfort. “I think he’s going to try to get off the bump tomorrow, just push his bullpen back a day,” Ross said. Miley hasn’t pitched in a big league game since June 10.

UP NEXT

Brewers: LHP Eric Lauer (8-5, 3.58 ERA) starts Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at the Los Angeles Dodgers. LHP Julio Urias (13-6, 2.40 ERA) takes the mound for the NL West leaders.

Cubs: LHP Drew Smyly (5-6, 3.67 ERA) faces St. Louis LHP Jordan Montgomery (6-3, 3.29 ERA) on Monday night in opener of a five-game series against the Cardinals. Smyly is 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA in three August starts.

Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered off Max Scherzer, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a crucial 4-2 victory Saturday night over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

The defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob deGrom and Scherzer on consecutive nights to take their biggest lead of the season in the division. New York, which held a 10 1/2-game cushion on June 1, faces its biggest deficit of the year with four games remaining.

Atlanta will try for a three-game sweep Sunday night, with the winner earning the season-series tiebreaker between the teams. Even though both teams are headed to the postseason, that’s important because the NL East champion gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Swanson’s 24th homer, a go-ahead, two-run shot in the fifth inning, touched off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truist Park, the ball sailing a few rows up into the seats in left-center to make it 3-2. Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, a solo shot into Chop House seats in right to put Atlanta up 4-2.

Austin Riley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Olson’s single to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit consecutive two-out singles.

The Mets led 1-0 in the first when Brandon Nimmo singled, advanced on a walk and a single and scored on Eduardo Escobar‘s groundout. Wright, who threw 30 pitches in the first, stranded two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage.

Scherzer (11-5) allowed a first-inning single to Riley and a third-inning infield single to Ronald Acuna Jr., who advanced to third on a fielding error by Lindor at shortstop but was stranded when Michael Harris II lined out to center. Scherzer patted his glove and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

Scherzer was charged with nine hits and four runs with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the Mets were knocked out of first place for only the third day all season.

The Braves have won five of the last six against New York to tie the season series 9-all, outscoring the Mets 37-16 over that stretch.

Atlanta’s bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA in September, got a perfect inning from Dylan Lee in the sixth. Jesse Chavez faced four batters in the seventh, Raisel Iglesias faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 39th save in 46 chances.

Since the Braves were a season low-tying four games under .500 at 23-27 after play on May 31, they have gone 76-32, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors over that span. They were a season-worst 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets on June 1.

Wright, the only 20-game winner in baseball this season, hasn’t officially become the first Braves pitcher to lead the league in wins outright since Russ Ortiz had 21 in 2003, but the Dodgers’ Julio Urias has 17 and can’t reach 20 before the regular season ends.

Wright will become the first Braves pitcher since Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in 2000 to lead the majors in wins. Houston ace Justin Verlander also has 17.

Wright began the game 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts and one relief appearance against the Mets.

The Braves, who got homers from Riley, Olson and Swanson off deGrom on Friday, lead the NL with 240 homers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte is experiencing less pain but not enough to take the next step in his recovery. Marte has been sidelined since Sept. 7.

Braves: RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique. Manager Brian Snitker said there is no timetable for the rookie’s return. Strider has been sidelined since Sept. 21.

NICE GLOVE

Harris ran back and jumped to catch Nimmo’s fly against the wall in center field for the first out of the third.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) will face RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29) as the teams conclude a three-game series.