MILWAUKEE — Mike Tauchman doubled in two runs and scored in a three-run ninth inning off All-Star closer Devin Williams and the Chicago Cubs rallied to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 on Wednesday night.
Cody Bellinger greeted Williams (4-2) in the ninth with a bloop single to center. After Christopher Morel struck out, Jared Young singled on a dribbler to third. Both runners advanced on a groundout and Tauchman sliced an opposite-field double to left to tie it at 3.
“You try to stay calm and not do too much,” Tauchman said. “Obviously with Williams, he’s one of the better closers in the league. He has a really, really good change-up, so that’s kind of what I was just trying to avoid there. Just trying not to do too much.”
Tauchman scored the go-ahead run when Nico Hoerner reached on a throwing error by third baseman Brian Anderson.
“Nico’s going to put the ball in play there and put pressure on the defense,” Tauchman said. “Once you read the throw’s low, it’s just put your head down and get there. Just able to get that last run in.”
Michael Rucker (2-1) got the victory with two innings of scoreless relief. Adbert Alzolay threw a perfect ninth for his fifth save in six opportunities.
“I thought Rucker did a nice job of keeping it where it was, 3-1, give us a chance to win,” said Cubs manager David Ross. “And then Adbert threw phenomenal.”
It was the second blown save for Williams in 20 chances as Milwaukee dropped to 39-3 when leading after eight innings.
“They found grass with two hits that were not well hit” said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. “Then Tauchman had a good at-bat. Give him credit for having a nice at-bat and fouling off some pitches and put a ball in play. Then we made a defensive mistake and that was it.’
Milwaukee scored twice in the sixth inning to go in front 3-1. Willy Adames opened with his 13th homer, sending an 0-1 pitch from Justin Steele 390 feet to left-center. Jahmai Jones singled with one and stole second. Anderson, activated earlier in the day off the paternity list, delivered a two-out RBI single to center.
Chicago pieced together a run in the third. Tauchman was hit by a pitch to open and took second when first baseman Owen Miller mishandled a pickoff attempt. Tauchman advanced on Seiya Suzuki’s slow-roller infield single to third and scored on Ian Happ’s single to center. Adrian Houser then got Dansby Swanson on a double-play grounder to second.
Milwaukee answered in the bottom half when Andruw Monasterio singled, advanced on a ground out and came home on William Contreras’ single to center.
The Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, sandwiching walks to Tauchman and Ian Happ around Suzuki’s third single of the game. Houser finished his outing by enticing Swanson into a double-play grounder to third.
Cubs: SS Dansby Swanson left in the seventh inning because of a left heel contusion. “We’ll reevaluate him in the morning,” Ross said. “He will not be in the lineup to start, but we’ll have to see if he’s available off the bench tomorrow.”
Brewers: 1B Rowdy Tellez was placed on the 10-day injured list with right forearm inflammation.
INF/OF Brian Anderson was reinstated from the paternity list Wednesday. INF Mike Brosseau was designated for assignment and LHP Thomas Pannone was released. RHP Tyson Miller was recalled and RHP J.C. Mejía selected from Triple-A Nashville, an LHP Clayton Andrews and RHP JB Bukauskas were optioned to Nashville.
RHP Freddy Peralta (5-7, 4.67 ERA) starts for the Brewers in the series finale on Thursday, opposed by RHP Marcus Stroman (9-6, 2.69).