Christian Yelich homered and drove in three, Josh Hader completed an eight-out save and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 4-2 Sunday.
Zach Davies (1-0) pitched effectively into the sixth, helping Milwaukee win for the seventh time in eight games, including two of three against Chicago. The Brewers have won 15 of their last 16 regular season series dating to last year.
The Cubs lost for the seventh time in eight games, dropping to 2-7.
Willson Contreras’ two-run homer in the sixth against Davies was unearned, and that was all Chicago could muster at the plate. Davies pitched 5 2/3 innings of five-hit ball, and Alex Claudio got two outs before handing off to Hader.
Hader struck out three over 2 2/3 perfect innings, throwing 36 pitches for his fifth save. The All-Star left-hander hadn’t pitched since Tuesday against Cincinnati.
Yelich struck a two-run homer in the first inning off Kyle Hendricks (0-2), his fifth of the season and 100th of his career.
Travis Shaw’s run-scoring single in the third made it 3-0. Milwaukee loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth but managed just one run on Yelich’s sacrifice fly.
Hendricks surrendered four runs and eight hits in four innings. He walked one and struck out four over 75 pitches.
After giving up a single to Ben Zobrist to lead off the game, Davies (1-0) retired nine in row before Kris Bryant’s one-out bloop single in the fourth.
Davies cruised until the sixth, when Anthony Rizzo reached on first baseman Eric Thames’ error and Javier Baez had an infield hit. Milwaukee nearly escaped with a groundball double play, but Contreras hit a two-run homer to chase Davies.
The Cubs threatened again the seventh, putting runners on the corners with one out before Hader came on to record the final two outs, including a strikeout of Rizzo.
The Brewers recalled RHP Jake Petricka from Triple-A San Antonio. RHP Taylor Williams was optioned to San Antonio.
Brewers: 1B Jesus Aguilar, LF Ryan Braun and C Yasmani Grandal, all regular starters, got the day off.
Cubs: After a nine-game road trip to start the season, Chicago will open at home Monday against Pittsburgh. Jon Lester (1-0, 3.00 ERA) will make his third start of the season. He’s 9-6 with a 3.18 ERA in 18 career starts against the Pirates.
Brewers: Jhoulys Chacin (2-0, 4.22) will take the mound in the opener of a three-game series in Los Angeles against the Angels.