Chi. Cubs 11, Milwaukee 6
When: 7:10 PM ET, Saturday, April 8, 2017
Where: Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Lazaro Diaz, 1B -
Doug Eddings, 2B -
Cory Blaser, 3B -
MILWAUKEE -- When Kris Bryant arrived in Milwaukee on Friday morning, he was mired in an 0-for-13 slump, the longest season-opening drought by a reigning Most Valuable Player in over 30 years.
So after getting one hit on Friday, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon knew it was only a matter of time until Bryant snapped out of his funk.
"When he goes through a moment like that, I just know he's going to get extremely hot in the future," Maddon said.
Bryant made his manager look clairvoyant Saturday, finishing with three hits including a pair of doubles and drove in three runs as the Cubs' offense broke out of its own season-opening funk in an 11-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
"It's good to get the first one out of the way, go out there and just play," Bryant said. "I still don't feel anywhere near comfortable out there but it's nice to get some hits out of the way."
He was one of three players to finish with three hits for the Cubs, who produced 17 in all, including a pair from starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks, who was making his 2017 debut.
Pitching on eight days of rest thanks to weather delays during the Cubs' opening series in St. Louis, Hendricks (1-0) was a little shaky out of the gate. Brewers leadoff man Jonathan Villar put Hendricks in an early hole, connecting with an 0-2 offering for his second home run of the season and the Brewers made it a 2-0 game when Eric Thames followed with a base hit then scored on a Travis Shaw double.
"Finding the strike zone wasn't the problem," Hendricks said. "I was just kind of throwing across my body. Things were just kind of off."
The Cubs got those runs back in the third on Bryant's two-run double and took the lead when Rizzo singled home Bryant.
Bryant struck again in the fourth with a base hit that scored Albert Almora to make it a 4-2 game.
Chicago's first four runs came against Milwaukee left-hander Tommy Milone, who moved into the rotation when Junior Guerra went down with an injury three innings into his Opening Day start.
Milone (0-1) gave up nine hits and a walk while striking out two over four innings of work.
"They have a really good lineup," Milone said. "They learn off their first at-bats. That's what makes them really good. I'm not saying they didn't do a good job, but they fought some good pitches off and dropped some in. They create situations and end up scoring."
Nick Franklin got Milone off the hook in the bottom of the inning, tying the game at 4 with a two-run homer to right center but the Cubs plated a pair in the fifth against Jhan Marinez (0-2) to go back in front.
"We needed more fielders tonight," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "In front of the outfielders and somewhere in the infield. You get credit for putting the ball in play, for sure, but they found a lot of holes."
Hendricks made it through the sixth, holding Milwaukee to four runs on five hits and a walk while striking out six.
"We're not used to seeing him give up homers," Maddon said. "That was unusual but he battled back, got through it. We needed those innings out of him to make the bullpen work tonight and he did it."
Wilson Contreras broke the game open with a two-run double in the eighth and Javier Baez drove in two more with a single up the middle, giving the Cubs an 11-4 lead.
Bandy got two runs back in the ninth on his first homer of the season, a two-run shot off Jason Grimm.
NOTES: OF Ryan Braun was scratched from the Brewers' lineup with tightness in his lower back, manager Craig Counsell said before the game. INF/OF Nick Franklin, who joined the team Friday after being claimed off waivers earlier in the week from Tampa Bay, started in left field for Milwaukee. ... Cubs 2B Javier Baez was back in the starting lineup and batting seventh Saturday. ... The Cubs started four first-round draft picks for the second time this season: 2B Javier Baez (2011), OF Albert Almora, Jr. (2012), 3B Kris Bryant (2013) and OF Kyle Schwarber (2014). ... Milwaukee had won six of its last seven meetings with the Cubs before losing Saturday.
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