MILWAUKEE - Seiya Suzuki homered for the second straight night as the Chicago Cubs overcame Kyle Hendricks’ early exit and defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 8-3 on Tuesday night.
Hendricks left after three innings with a sore right shoulder. The right-hander threw 69 pitches, with his velocity slightly lower than usual.
Chicago’s bullpen stepped up in Hendricks’ absence. Matt Swarmer (2-3), Rowan Wick and Michael Rucker combined to allow just one run over the last six innings.
Suzuki broke a 2-all tie and put the Cubs ahead for good by lining a two-run shot just to the right of the left-field foul pole in the fifth inning. He also had an RBI single in the Cubs’ four-run sixth.
That came one night after Suzuki hit an inside-the-park homer in the ninth inning to give Chicago a 2-1 lead, though the Cubs lost that game 5-2 in 10 innings. The Cubs activated Suzuki from the injured list Monday after a sprained left ring finger caused him to miss about five weeks.
Rowdy Tellez hit a two-run homer for Milwaukee in the first inning. His last 10 hits have gone for extra bases, tying a Brewers record Ryan Thompson set in 2002.
After starter Jason Alexander (2-1) held Chicago scoreless for the first three innings, the Cubs totaled eight runs over the next three frames to turn a 2-0 deficit into an 8-2 advantage.
The Cubs scored a run in the fourth without hitting the ball out of the infield. After they loaded the bases on a walk, a hit batter and an infield single, Patrick Wisdom scored from third when Nelson Velázquez grounded out.
Chicago pulled ahead with three runs in the fifth.
The rally started when Brewers shortstop Willy Adames fielded a one-out grounder and threw wildly to first, allowing Nico Hoerner to reach second on the error. Hoerner scored the tying run when Ian Happ hit a grounder that got past third baseman Luis Urías and went into the left-field corner for a double.
Suzuki then lined a first-pitch sinker over the left-field wall.
The Cubs extended the lead to 8-2 in the sixth as Rafael Ortega drove in two runs and knocked Alexander out of the game with a triple into the right-field corner. Ortega scored as part of a double steal with Happ. Suzuki’s single to left brought home Happ.
Alexander allowed seven runs – six earned – and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two.
Milwaukee loaded the bases when Swarmer opened the sixth inning with three straight walks, but the Brewers failed to capitalize. Wick took over and retired Urías on a liner and Jace Peterson on a double-play grounder.
Cubs C Willson Contreras was out of the lineup after leaving in the 10th inning Monday due to hamstring tightness. Manager David Ross said Contreras’ status was day to day.
The three-game series concludes Wednesday afternoon as Corbin Burnes (7-4, 2.36 ERA) pitches for the Brewers and Adrian Sampson (0-0, 3.38) starts for the Cubs in a matchup of right-handers.