Cubs deal fading Brewers sixth straight loss
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Brewers' elongated stay atop the NL Central is over, as Welington Castillo's home run and three RBI led the Chicago Cubs to a 4-2 win over Milwaukee in the opener of a three-game series.
The Brewers had been alone or tied for first place every day since April 5, but Milwaukee's six-game losing streak coupled with the Cardinals' win over the Pirates on Monday has vaulted St. Louis into the division lead.
Luis Valbuena added a solo homer for Chicago, while Jacob Turner (5-8) struck out seven over 6 1/3 solid innings to pick up the win, the Cubs' third in five games.
"It's a step in the right direction," Turner said. "I made some pitches when I needed to."
Back-to-back home runs by Khris Davis and Gerardo Parra in the seventh provided the only offense for the Brewers, who had starter Jimmy Nelson (2-6) allow three runs on nine hits over six frames.
Davis sent one onto Waveland Avenue to end Turner's otherwise flawless outing, and Parra sent Blake Parker's first pitch deep to right to make it a 3-2 game.
Parker, though, retired the next two hitters, Neil Ramirez pitched a perfect eighth and Valbuena added an insurance run in the bottom half with his 16th blast of the season.
Hector Rondon shook off a one-out single in the ninth to collect his 23rd save and send the Brewers into second place.
"This is a good enough group that we'll rebound...and go on a run," said a confident Nelson.
Rookie Jorge Soler received a resounding ovation in his first Wrigley Field at-bat in the second inning and responded with a double into the right-field corner. Castillo plated the 22-year-old Cuban rookie with a broken-bat base hit to short left.
Starlin Castro doubled leading off the fourth and came around on Castillo's home run.
Cubs All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo sat out a seventh straight game because of a tight lower back ... Brewers center field Carlos Gomez sat out with a left wrist injury he sustained on Sunday ... Nelson has dropped four straight decisions ... Soler went 2-for-4 with two doubles. He is hitting .526 (10-for-19) with four doubles, three homers and seven RBI over his first five big league games.
09/01 19:44:18 ET