CHICAGO — Yu Darvish failed to give the Chicago Cubs enough quality innings, and the bullpen failed to provide a timely stop.
Those developments only heightened the frustration for the Cubs on Saturday as the Brewers pulled away for an 8-3 victory at Wrigley Field.
Tempers started to rise in the first when Javier Baez was hit on the left arm by a pitch from Corbin Burnes and took a couple of steps toward the mound before steering toward first base accompanied initially by plate umpire C.B. Bucknor.
Two batters later, Willson Contreras was buzzed by a Burnes pitch and glared at him. Contreras finished the at-bat by hitting a single to score Rizzo and flipped his bat as he ran toward first.
Without a crowd to drown the noise, the Brewers cheered after Contreras struck out on a slider to end the third. Contreras stayed around the batter’s box for a few seconds to stare at catcher Omar Narvaez and the Brewers dugout.
Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain stopped near first base as players from both sides yelled at each other from their respective dugouts.
The Brewers dugout, however, got louder after Darvish hit Narvaez on a cutter to open the fourth. Mat Gamel hit a two-run triple to break a 1-1 tie and give the Brewers the lead for good.
That essentially ended a frustrating outing for Darvish, who labored through four innings and missed his target several times. He allowed three runs on six hits with five strikeouts and no walks.
Darvish was victimized by a botched rundown that allowed Cain to return to second, setting up an Eric Sogard two-out single that tied the game in the second.
Justin Smoak ripped a home run off Duane Underwood Jr. in the fifth. After Kyle Schwarber’s two-run homer cut the Cubs’ deficit to one, Christian Yelich launched a two-run homer well over the center-field wall off Brad Wieck in the sixth. Narvaez and Cain added insurance with RBI hits off James Norwood in the seventh.
The Cubs’ Tyler Chatwood will face Freddy Peralta on Sunday in the deciding game of the opening series.
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