Ian Happ

(AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

Happ's Single Lifts Cubs To 5-2 Win Over Brewers

April 08, 2018 - 3:09 pm
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MILWAUKEE (AP) — After a rocky start, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon thinks Ian Happ finally can relax a little bit.

Happ hit a tiebreaking two-run single during Chicago's four-run ninth, helping the Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 on Saturday.

"Whatever he's going to have tonight dinner dinner-wise is going to taste better, sleep is going to be much more tranquil and if he had a dog with him on the road he's going to love his puppy even more," Maddon said. "That's what happens after a hit like that."

Happ struck out three more times, running his team-high total to a whopping 17 in seven games, before coming up with a clutch swing in his final at-bat. With one out and the bases loaded, he dumped a 0-1 pitch from Jacob Barnes into left-center to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead.

"You've just got to keep working," Happ said. "It's the reason why we play this many games and it's a game of averages, because there's going to be some ups and downs. Hopefully this is going to be the biggest of the downs and I'll get back going on a normal pace."

After Happ's single, Kris Bryant was intentionally walked, and Maddon sent starting pitcher Jon Lester to the plate to hit for reliever Pedro Strop (2-0). Lester got down a sacrifice that drove in Ben Zobrist from third for the final run.

Barnes (0-1), who was filling in for injured closer Corey Knebel, was charged with four runs, two earned. He was hurt by errors by shortstop Orlando Arcia and third baseman Travis Shaw.

Brandon Morrow got three outs for his first save since signing with the Cubs in the offseason.

Milwaukee wasted a nice start for Zach Davies, who struck out eight while pitching six innings of one-run ball. Eric Thames homered in the fourth inning, and Lorenzo Cain hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth.

"It's fun baseball," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. "You enjoy it. It was a great ballgame, an entertaining game. We didn't make a couple plays in the end and they didn't make a couple plays that almost cost them. We'll come back."

Bryant had three hits, including his second homer of the season, and walked twice one day after he committed a costly error in the ninth inning of Milwaukee's 5-4 win.

The Cubs' ninth-inning rally began when Victor Caratini reached on an infield single with one out and advanced when Arcia's throw bounced past Thames for an error. Barnes then walked Jason Heyward and Javier Baez followed with a sharp bouncer to Shaw, who booted the ball to load the bases.

Zobrist's infield single tied it at 2 and set the stage for Happ's big hit after a rough start to the season.

"I think everyone saw the balls," Barnes said. "It was not like they were hitting bullets everywhere."

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