CHICAGO (AP) — Jake Arrieta got back on track. Unfortunately for the right-hander, the Chicago Cubs’ lineup continued to struggle.
Arrieta pitched into the eighth inning, but the Cubs were shut down by Yovani Gallardo in a 3-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night. Anthony Rizzo had three of Chicago’s nine strikeouts, increasing its total to 53 in the past four games.
“We’re chasing balls out of the zone a little bit, but you’re facing, especially for some of our youngsters, some pretty good stuff,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Gallardo is no slouch. This guy’s pretty good, and the relief core that came in is also pretty good.”
Coming off his worst start of the year, Arrieta (6-4) gave up two runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings. He was hit hard in a loss at Colorado on Wednesday, allowing season highs of nine runs and 13 hits in five-plus innings.
“It was a little better from start to finish, a little better consistency with everything down in the zone, a lot of ground balls, a lot of early outs,” he said.
Gallardo bounced back nicely from a sluggish outing against San Francisco, pitching seven innings of one-run ball while improving to 9-3 with a 3.00 ERA in 18 career starts against Chicago.
“I was able to command the fastball to both sides of the plate,” he said. “I was able to go up and out of the zone whenever I needed to.”
Scooter Gennett had two hits, including an RBI single in the ninth, and Mark Reynolds connected for his 20th homer as Milwaukee opened a seven-game trip with its fourth victory in five games.
Arrieta (6-4) retired 13 in a row before Ryan Braun started the seventh with a single to center. Braun was cut down at the plate when he tried to score from second on Gennett’s one-out double, but Davis followed with a liner into the left-field corner to give the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
Gallardo (7-6) struck out six and walked none in only his second victory in his last nine starts for the NL Central leaders. Francisco Rodriguez worked the ninth for his major league-best 36th save in 40 opportunities.
Reynolds connected with two out in the second, ending a 1-for-18 slump since his previous homer on Aug. 3 at St. Louis.
Reynolds’ deep drive to left on Arrieta’s first pitch was gloved by a Cubs fan in the back row of the bleachers, earning a loud ovation from the crowd of 28,927. He quickly grabbed an older ball from his seat and threw it on the field, drawing another round of applause with the common trick in the outfield stands at Wrigley Field.
Chicago tied it at 1 in the fifth. Chris Coghlan drove in Justin Ruggiano with a two-out double down the first-base line, putting runners on second and third, but Gallardo got Javier Baez to fly out to left-center to end the threat.
Cubs CF Arismendy Alcantara went 0 for 4 and is 1 for 14 through the first four games of their seven-game homestand. The rookie is 3 for 27 in his last seven games overall.
“I think he’s learning how big league pitchers are adjusting to him,” Renteria said before the game. “I think they’re attacking him in different ways and I think that he’s going to continue to adjust, he’s got the skill set to adjust.”
Cubs LHP Felix Doubront (strained left calf) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday. Doubront was acquired in a trade with Boston on July 30.
Milwaukee RHP Wily Peralta (14-6, 3.42 ERA) tries for his sixth consecutive win when he takes on rookie RHP Kyle Hendricks (3-1, 2.10 ERA) in the second game of the four-game series. Peralta is 10-1 with a 4.06 ERA in his last 12 starts, but is winless in two career outings at Wrigley. Hendricks has won each of his last two starts for Chicago.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap