After letting Monday’s series opener slip away in extra innings, the visiting Chicago Cubs will turn to veteran right-hander Kyle Hendricks when they face the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.
Hendricks (4-6, 4.76 ERA) will be making his 31st career start against the Brewers. Rookie right-hander Jason Alexander (2-0, 3.82 ERA) is scheduled to start for Milwaukee.
The Brewers salvaged the opener 5-2 on Victor Caratini’s three-run walk-off homer with two outs in the 10th inning on Monday. Chicago had taken a 2-1 lead in the ninth of Seiya Suzuki’s improbable inside-the-park homer off Brewers closer Josh Hader, who leads the majors with 25 saves.
Milwaukee tied it in the bottom of the ninth when Christian Yelich walked to force in a run, but the Brewers left the bases loaded. The Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the 10th but failed to score. Caratini had struck out in his first four at-bats before delivering the winner.
“The ninth inning, I think on both sides, was a crazy inning,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “The ball that Suzuki hits, we haven’t seen that ball hit here in quite a while, the one that gets off the wall like that and shoots the other way.”
Milwaukee, which has moved back in front of St. Louis in the NL Central, is 18-8 in its last 26 home games against the Cubs.
Hendricks will be facing the Brewers for the fourth time this season. He is 10-8 with a 3.54 ERA in his career vs. Milwaukee, including 4-3 with a 3.66 ERA in 14 starts at American Family Field. He has not won in Milwaukee since April 8, 2017.
Hendricks is 0-1 with a 6.14 ERA against the Brewers this season, allowing 10 earned runs on 18 hits in 14 2/3 innings.
Hendricks has won his last two starts, giving up two runs in 13 1/3 innings.
“I felt like he was pretty much in control the whole day,” Cubs manager David Ross said following Hendricks’ last start. “I really felt like early on, the sinker was really sharp. From the side, there was some good angle. Pushed a couple change-ups there at times, but I thought he was in control. Got the ground balls when he needed them, no panic, felt like he was vintage Kyle.”
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras left Monday’s game after batting in the 10th inning with what Ross said was hamstring tightness.
Alexander will make his sixth start since being called up from Triple-A to bolster the Brewers’ injury-riddled rotation. He has pitched in relief his last two times out.
“To call on a guy and he’s delivered five starts and given you a chance to win every single day he’s taken the mound, you can’t ask for anything more than that from the situation we’re in,” Counsell said after Alexander’s last start. “So, hat tipped to what Jason’s done for us. It’s been really, really valuable.”
Alexander has allowed just two homers in 30 2/3 innings, but opponents are batting .328 against him.
Alexander made his big-league debut on the road against the Cubs on June 1, giving up three runs (two earned) in seven innings. He did not get the decision in the Brewers’ 4-3, 10-inning loss.
–Field Level Media