MILWAUKEE — Victor Caratini hit a tiebreaking home run off Michael Fulmer in the eighth inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers recovered from a blown three-run lead to beat the Chicago Cubs 6-5 Thursday and gain a split of their four-game series.
“It was a huge swing,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It was a crazy series. Both teams came back, scored late, often. A good one for the fans.”
Milwaukee's next six games are against NL Central-leading Cincinnati. The Brewers host the Reds this weekend, then play at Cincinannti following the All-Star break.
Cody Bellinger was 4 for 4 with three RBIs for the Cubs, finishing a triple shy of the cycle and raising his average to .298. His 12-game hitting streak matched his career best, set with the 2019 Los Angeles Dodgers. He his hitting .467 (21 for 45) with three doubles, a home run, six RBIs and 10 runs during the streak.
Milwaukee led 4-1 in the sixth inning and 5-3 in the eighth before Yan Gomes' two-run homer off J.C. Mejía (1-0).
Caratini, who played for the Cubs from 2017-20, connected on a 1-2 changeup that Fulmer (0-5) left over the middle of the plate and drove the ball into the right-field second deck for his fifth home run this season.
Fulmer has lost six straight decisions since beating Boston for Minnesota last Aug. 30.
Mejía got his second major league win, his first since May 24, 2021, for Cleveland at Detroit.
Joel Payamps allowed a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Trey Mancini in the ninth, then got three straight outs for his third save in four chances. Chicago went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
Brewers starter Freddy Peralta allowed three runs, four hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out 10, matching his season high.
Cubs starter Marcus Stroman gave up four runs, four hits and four walks in five innings. He is 0-2 in three starts after winning seven in a row from May 19 to June 20.
“Overall, I felt like I had good stuff,” Stroman said. “I thought I walked too many guys,"
Bellinger hit an RBI single in the second but Milwaukee took a 4-1 lead in the fifth when Joey Wiemer had an RBI single and Yelich hit a three-run homer with two outs, a ball that hit the top of the yellow padding and bounced over the left-field wall.
“That's a huge swing on a very very good pitcher who's having a great season,” Counsell said. “He was really locked in.”
Bellinger's two-run homer in the sixth cut the deficit to 4-3. Yelich walked and scored on Willy Adames’ sacrifice fly off Mark Leiter Jr.
“Guys are grinding hard right now and playing with every ounce of energy they've got," Cubs manager David Ross said. “It's standing out. We're never out of the game.”
LET’S LOOK AT THAT
Crew chief Andy Fletcher initiated a home run review following a Christopher Morel double in the second. The call was confirmed to not be a home run after the replay umpire determined the ball hit the yellow padding that tops the wall, then bounced back to the center fielder Joey Wiemer.
Cubs: SS Dansby Swanson didn't play after leaving in the seventh inning of Wednesday night’s game because of a bruised left heel.
Cubs: RHP Jameson Taillon (2-6, 6.93 ERA) returns to the Bronx for the first time since leaving the Yankees for a $68 million, four-year contract with the Cubs, starting Friday night's opener of a three-game. LHP Carlos Rodón makes his Yankees debut after recovering a strained left forearm and bad back that had sidelined him since spring training.
Brewers: RHP Corbin Burnes (6-5, 4.00) opposes LHP Andrew Abbott (4-0, 1.21) and visiting Cincinnati in the opener of a three-game series.