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Cubs strike out 18 times in 6-1 loss to Brewers
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Cubs kept striking out and Logan Schafer kept rounding the bases in the ninth.
Mike Fiers struck out 12 in six innings and Ryan Braun homered as the Milwaukee Brewers beat Chicago 6-1 Saturday. Fiers and three relievers combined for 18 strikeouts - including rookie third baseman Kris Bryant all four times up.
The Cubs got a scare in the second when rookie second baseman Addison Russell and first baseman Rizzo collided on Carlos Gomez's bloop single to shallow right field. Both players remained in the game.
The Cubs were sloppy, too. Schafer hit a grounder in the ninth and wound up circling the bases when shortstop Starlin Castro made a throwing error, then Rizzo threw to third base, where no one covered the bag.
"Starlin makes that play 100 out of 100 tries then it turns into that," Cubs manager Joe maddon said. "KB thought he had to cover second which wasn't a bad thought, because the second baseman was gone and the shortstop is in. Then as you do that somebody has to get over to third and that would be the catcher or the pitcher, that's all.
"But at worst just hold the ball and it would've been fine. It looked awful and it was, but it just comes down to a play that we normally should make."
Rizzo homered for the Cubs' run. He said he was fine after collision in the second.
"It's just one of those plays where it is two outs got to try to make that play at all costs and he went all out and I went all out and thankfully we didn't hit our heads on each other. We kind of skidded a little there. We were both laying down, we both asked each other if you're all right and thankfully we were," said Rizzo.
Jake Arrieta (3-2) allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings.
Fiers (1-3) walked two of his first three batters. He retired 12 straight before allowing a single to Chris Denorfia with one out in the fifth for the Cubs' first hit.
"I'm glad he got back to the type of pitcher he is. We've been waiting for one of these starts to get him rolling because we know what happens when he gets on a roll, said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.
Fiers struck out a career-high 14 in six innings in his previous start at Wrigley Field last Aug. 14.
"Today was good for me because I was pounding the zone, throwing a lot of strikes, getting back to where I was at before, attacking the guys, making them swing and throwing my pitches where (Martin Maldonado is) set up and where he wants me to throw them," said Fiers.
Milwaukee won for the fourth time in 17 games. The Brewers improved to 3-8 on the road and will try to win their first series of the season Sunday.
Braun hit a two-run drive, his fifth homer of the season, in the first. He has homered in three of four games.
Gomez, who returned from the disabled list before the game, stole two bases.
Brewers: Gomez had been out with an injured right hamstring. He batted leadoff and played center field. ... INF Luis Jimenez was designated for assignment. He was 0 for 15. ... 3B Aramis Ramirez (left hamstring tightness) was out of the lineup for the second straight game.
Maddon inserted Jorge Soler into the leadoff spot to try to boost the 23-year-old's offense. Soler entered the game batting .259 and was 4 for 30 in his last eight games. Regular leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler batted second.
Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson (1-2, 3.63) will start the series finale on Sunday. He is 0-2 with a 5.02 ERA in four career games against the Cubs.
Cubs: RHP Jason Hammel (2-1, 3.55) is 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA in six career starts against the Brewers.