MILWAUKEE – Highly touted Milwaukee prospect Aaron Ashby got roughed up for seven runs in the first inning of his big league debut, but Luis Urias homered twice as the Brewers rallied to rout the Chicago Cubs 15-7 Wednesday for their eighth straight win.
The Brewers swept the three-game series and increased their NL Central lead to six games over Chicago. The Cubs lost their sixth in a row.
“Definitely an emotional roller coaster during that game,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “We were not our best today.”
Willy Adames hit a grand slam during an eight-run burst in the fourth inning that put Milwaukee ahead 14-7. His error at shortstop helped the Cubs break loose at the start against Ashby.
The Angels also rallied to win Wednesday after allowing seven runs in the first inning to the Yankees, making it the first day since at least 1900 when two teams allowed seven or more runs in the first inning and rallied to win, according to STATS.
The 23-year-old Ashby was charged with seven runs, four of them earned, on four hits and three walks. Of his 39 pitches, only 18 were strikes.
“I can’t really put a finger on it,” Ashby said. “Just sneaky hit after sneaky hit. Then, I couldn’t find the strike zone there at the end. But that’s baseball. I’ve got to lock in, in that situation and make some pitches. I wasn’t able to do that.”
Called up from Triple-A to start, the leftt-handed Ashby -- and nephew of two-time All-Star pitcher Andy Ashby -- was in trouble right away.
Willson Contreras led off the game with a single and the Cubs loaded the bases with no outs. Javier Baez hit a two-run single, Adames’ misplay let another run score and bunt single produced a run.
After a double steal, a run-scoring wild pitch and two walks, Ashby exited with the bases loaded, two outs and trailing 5-0. Miguel Sanchez relieved and gave up a two-run single to Patrick Wisdom.
Five Brewers relievers combined for 8 1/3 scoreless innings. Trevor Richards (3-0) wound up with the win.
“The job our bullpen did, the job specifically Sanchez and Richards did, to just kind of stop them in their tracks really was just brilliant today,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That was the game.”
Milwaukee, meanwhile, bounced back against Jake Arrieta and the Chicago bullpen.
“Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong for us lately,” Arrieta said. “It’s been tough. I had an opportunity to end that. We had a seven-run lead, I just performed poorly.”
Urias had his first multi-homer game in the majors and finished with three hits and four RBIs.
“It was just a crazy game,” Urias said. “It was wild.”
Jace Peterson drove in three runs with a pair of singles.
Slumping outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. had his second multi-hit game in the series and just his fifth of the season.
LOBATON TO IL
Chicago placed catcher Jose Lobaton on the 60-day injured list with a sprained right shoulder suffered on the final play of Chicago’s 2-1 loss Tuesday night.
Lobaton was injured when he tried to hurdle over Brewers closer Josh Hader, who slipped while trying to cover first on Lobaton’s two-out chopper with two out in the ninth. Lobaton landed awkwardly on his right shoulder and after a lengthy examination on the field, needed help removing his following after the game.
He’s the latest backup catcher to go down with an injury for the Cubs this season. Chicago signed veteran Austin Romine to play behind Contreras in spring training, only to lose him to the 60-day IL in late April. His replacement, Tony Wolters, was later cut when the Cubs called up P.J. Higgins from Triple-A, only to suffer a strained forearm that ultimately required season-ending surgery on his flexor tendon.
Higgins’ injury opened the door for Lobaton, a 10-year MLB veteran who appeared in six games for Chicago before his injury.
“Lobey’s done nothing but be ready and he works his tail off,” Ross said. “Hopefully, it’s a speedy recovery for him.”
Chicago recalled catcher Taylor Gushue from Triple-A Iowa.
Cubs: While Kris Bryant (right side) and Anthony Rizzo (back) were held out of the series finale Wednesday, Wisdom left the game with left side tightness and a right eye contusion.
Brewers: Second baseman Kolten Wong (hamstring) was held out of the lineup but available off the bench.
Cubs: After getting a day off Thursday, the Cubs continue their 10-game road trip Friday in Cincinnati behind RHP Alec Mills (3-1, 5.11 ERA). Mills is 3-0 with a 3.74 ERA in eight career appearances (five starts) against the Reds and has a 6.43 ERA in four starts in Cincinnati.
Brewers: Milwaukee tries to continue its winning streak behind RHP Corbin Burnes (3-4, 2.53 ERA), who gets the start in the first of a four-game series against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Burnes got a no-decision his last time out despite holding the Rockies to a run over six innings. He’s 3-0 with a 3.19 ERA in 15 career games against Pittsburgh.
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