Kris Bryant hits go-ahead home run for Chicago Cubs

Kris Bryant hits go-ahead home run for Chicago Cubs”

Trailing by 3½ games, Milwaukee begins a four-game series at home against the Cubs that features a terrific pitching matchup in the opener.

The Brewers are in the hunt for a fifth-ever trip to the postseason as they prepare to host the Chicago Cubs in Milwaukee Thursday night.

Tigers right-handed reliever Myles Jaye had a brutal line in the Twins' 12-1 victory: 1 2/3 innings, 5 ER, 3 H, 4 BB.

The Brewers fans in the crowd of 35,114 at Miller Park got up to leave as Bryant rounded the bases, and the Cubs-fan majority cheered as their team reduced its magic number to six games to win the division. The Cubs snapped a three-game losing streak to the Brewers, who had outscored Chicago 20-3 during that stretch. During that 12-game span dating back to September 8, the Brewers lead the National League in ERA (2.53). Domingo Santana doubled with one out and stole third base. Chicago was down to its final strike before Javier Baez ripped a single to score Ian Happ and tie the game. Zach Davies (17-9, 3.89 ERA) starts for the Brewers, looking to earn his major league-high 18th win.

The Cubs made it 2-0 in the third on Rizzo's one-out RBI single to right, scoring Jay.

Davies gave it a game effort on a night when the Brewers bullpen was in need of a rest. But after all the Cubs have been through-injured pitchers, cold bats and puzzling dry spells-it's encouraging that they are where they are.

"Let's see how the leg holds up", manager Joe Maddon said. "He feels good, but workouts are not like actual games, so we'll see how it plays out". You can hear the game on WSAU. "It should be about today all the time".

"They'll get to the playoffs, " another Cub watcher told me. "You feel like you're playing for something". It should bring out the best in you. But the Brewers are giving it a go.

Most agree the Brewers have been extreme overachievers this year. "To be able to have the kind of race we're in now, it's exciting and it's good for baseball, I think".

I like the idea that a scufflin' team like the Cubs just might continue to scuffle in the post-season. But for 2017, this certainly is.

"It's two tough (losses), but we're still sitting in a pretty good spot", Counsell said.

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