MILWAUKEE (AP) — Chicago Cubs manager Rick Renteria’s eyes were watery after a 9-0 loss Sunday to the Milwaukee Brewers.
“It’s not tears. It’s eye drops,” Renteria joked in his office.
But there was really nothing to be happy about after the Cubs lost a 14th straight series on the road.
Ace Jeff Samardzija was shelled for eight runs in three innings. Chicago’s No. 3 hitter, Anthony Rizzo, was ejected in the fourth for arguing a called third strike.
The rest of the lineup couldn’t solve Brewers starter Kyle Lohse (7-1), who pitched a three-hitter. The defense didn’t help after a high fly to shallow left-center dropped between three fielders for a double in the second inning against Samardzija (1-5).
“We had a fly ball that fell in that led to one run. His command wasn’t the best today, but it was just one of those days for him. I think very rare,” Renteria said.
Samardzija’s ERA rose from 1.68 to 2.54.
Ryan Braun homered on the first pitch he saw from Samardzija in the first, and the Brewers rolled from there. Samardzija had trouble locating his fastball, and Lyle Overbay broke open the game with a three-run double in the third.
“I think he was kind of missing his spots today and we took advantage of it, though. Sometimes good pitchers can miss spots and still dominate, but we were able to get some to fall down,” Overbay said.
Even Lohse had success at the plate, contributing a pair of RBI singles. He struck out six in Milwaukee’s first complete-game shutout this season.
“It’s fun to go out there and help out, add on, but that’s not my main job. My main job was to go out there and get us deep in the game, and I take a little more pride in that,” said Lohse, who needed just 93 pitches in tossing his eighth career shutout.
One of the few highlights for Chicago was Brian Schlitter’s single to lead off the seventh for the reliever’s first major league hit.
Otherwise, it was a frustrating day for the Cubs.
Rizzo got ejected with Chicago trailing by eight. The left-handed slugger turned to face umpire Jerry Meals and pointed angrily with his left arm at the ground before being sent back to the dugout by Renteria.
“I didn’t agree with the calls, obviously. I said my piece and I definitely understand why I got ejected. I’m going to move on,” Rizzo said.
Braun hit his ninth homer of the year and second in three days.
Scooter Gennett had two doubles off Samardzija before hitting his third homer of the year in the fifth off reliever Justin Grimm.
Gennett’s first double exemplified the Cubs’ afternoon. His high fly fell in between backpedaling shortstop Starlin Castro and charging outfielder Junior Lake, who looked away in frustration as Gennett hustled into second.
“I’m obviously upset with how it went today,” Samardzija said. “But as a whole you become the guy you want to be by turning the page, good or bad.”
NOTES: Chicago planned to give Luis Valbuena a couple days off as a precaution after Renteria said the infielder was “a little tired, a little sore” with what he described as an abdominal ailment. ... Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez (hamstring) went 0 for 2 and fielded a grounder in four innings in his first game of a two-day rehab stint at Class A Appleton. ... ... Chicago is off Monday and opens a three-game series Tuesday against the visiting New York Mets. RHP Matt Garza (2-4) starts Monday when Milwaukee welcomes the Minnesota Twins for a two-game series.
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