CHICAGO (AP) — It didn’t take long for Milwaukee’s struggles to continue after Brewers manager Ron Roenicke addressed the team before the game.
Jake Arrieta pitched six solid innings and the Chicago Cubs handed the Brewers their seventh straight loss, 7-1 Tuesday night.
Just a couple of hours after Roenicke addressed the team, shortstop Elian Herrera made two errors that helped the Cubs score four runs in the first inning.
The Brewers went on to match their worst skid of the season.
Since owning a 2 1/2-game lead in the NL Central on Aug. 19, the Brewers have lost 10 of 12.
“Things are not going right,” Roenicke said.
Yovani Gallardo (8-8) allowed a season-high seven runs and eight hits in five innings.
“I thought Yovani was throwing the ball all right, but we made some errors and you get behind 4-0 again and you feel the pressure on the offense to come back and score runs,” Roenicke said.
“We’ve got to put up some zeroes, play some good defense and pitch well and give our offense a chance to hopefully get a lead sometimes,” he said. “Every time we make an error, we don’t get away with it.”
Brewers star Ryan Braun said there was a positive tone to Roenicke’s meeting.
“He just tried to encourage us and to continue to do the same things we’ve done. We’ve played great baseball to put ourselves in this position. We have to get back to the way we played the majority of the first five months,” he said.
“Every team has a bad week. It’s not an ideal time for it to happen to us, but we have to go out there and continue to compete every day and it will turn around at some point,” he said.
Arrieta (8-5) gave up five hits in six innings, and lowered his ERA to 2.81.
Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro sprained his left ankle on an awkward slide home in the first inning, and left the game. Initial tests revealed no fracture for the three-time All-Star.
Jorge Soler and Luis Valbuena each hit RBI singles in the first. Herrera made one fielding error and one poor throw.
Braun singled home Scooter Gennett in the third.
Welington Castillo had an RBI double in the fifth and Arismendy Alcantara hit his eighth home run, extending the Cubs’ lead to 7-1.
Brewers: OF Carlos Gomez was diagnosed with a sprained left wrist and will not swing a bat for at least one week, Roenicke said. Roenicke, who said that the injury could potentially sideline the two-time All-Star for a few weeks, said that Gomez will remain available as a pinch-runner and defensive substitute.
The Brewers and Cubs finish their three-game set Wednesday night. RHP Kyle Hendricks (5-1, 1.91) starts for the Cubs, aiming to win his fifth consecutive decision. He will face RHP Matt Garza (7-7, 3.58), who makes his first start since being put on the 15-day disabled list with strained left oblique on Aug. 5.
Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez was 2 for 3. He is hitting .326 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs since being reinstated from the DL on June 4.
The Brewers matched their seven-game skid from July 6-12. They have seven straight road games, matching their longest drought away from Miller Park since an 11-game slide in 2012.