Brewers lose 5-2 to Cubs

Associated Press

 July 31, 2015

Milwaukee Brewers' Jeremy Jeffress gives up a three run home run to Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo during the eighth inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Milwaukee.

MILWAUKEE The Milwaukee Brewers lost two key players in a trade right before the game, and almost got the win anyway.

The bullpen just couldn't hold on.

Jimmy Nelson pitched seven innings of two-hit ball for Milwaukee, but Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run homer off Will Smith to send the Chicago Cubs to a 5-2 victory on Thursday night.

The last-place Brewers lost for the fifth time in six games. They also traded outfielder Carlos Gomez and right-hander Mike Fiers to Houston for four prospects: left-hander Josh Hader, right-hander Adrian Houser and outfielders Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana.

"It was so close to the game I wasn't even in the clubhouse," Nelson said. "Fiers is a good friend of mine. Gomez is a spark plug to this team."

Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said the traded players will be missed.

Milwaukee Brewers' Gerardo Parra jokes with teammates in the dugout during the third inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Milwaukee.

"Nobody is ever going to forget Carlos Gomez. He made an impact on the Brewers. I love watching the guy play," Counsell said. "Mike has been this under-the-radar guy who has established himself as a major league starter. He never took a back seat to anybody and he had to fight for everything he got."

Nelson struck out eight and walked three. He also threw seven scoreless innings in his previous start at Arizona.

The Cubs put two runners on in the seventh, but Nelson struck out Kris Bryant swinging to end the inning. Nelson yelled and pumped his right arm as he left the mound to a loud ovation.

"To me, that was the game right there," Nelson said.


Milwaukee Brewers' Gerardo Parra makes a catch in center field against the Chicago Cubs during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Milwaukee.

But Chicago rallied in the eighth. Addison Russell and Dexter Fowler singled against Jeremy Jeffress before Smith (4-2) came in.

Smith retired his first two batters, but Rizzo connected for his 18th homer to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead. It was only the second home run allowed by Smith this season.

"Nelson pitched really well," Rizzo said. "We came through there (in the eighth). We got two guys on and got the big inning. Just huge for us."

Chicago added two runs in the ninth on Bryant's sacrifice fly and Kyle Schwarber's RBI single.

Rafael Soriano (2-0) pitched a scoreless seventh, Pedro Strop retired the side in the eighth and Hector Rondon finished for his 14th save in 17 tries.

"The whole night, it wasn't going our way," Chicago manager Joe Maddon said. "But I liked the way we worked. And then eventually Riz steps up and does what he can do."

The Brewers broke through for two runs in the third against Jake Arrieta. Gerardo Parra led off with a single, giving him a career-high 14-game hitting streak. Parra stole second and scored on Jonathan Lucroy's double. Ryan Braun's infield single drove in Lucroy.

Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo gets a high five from teammate Dexter Fowler after hitting a three run home run off Milwaukee Brewers' Jeremy Jeffress during the eighth inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Milwaukee.

Arrieta gave up five hits in six innings.


Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said don't expect his team to sit still after the non-waiver trade deadline on Friday.

"I've made a lot of pretty good deals in my career after July 31st," he said. "We acquired (Jonathan) Broxton after the deadline last year."


Cubs: C Miguel Montero continues to make progress in recovering from a sprained left thumb. Montero has been on the disabled list since July 17. "He's very adamant that he feels really good," Maddon said. Montero likely will be sent on a brief rehab assignment. ... Bryant didn't start so he could rest. He hit for Arrieta in the seventh and took over at third.

Brewers: Milwaukee recalled OF Logan Schafer and selected INF/OF Elian Herrera from Triple-A Colorado Springs. They are expected to join the team on Friday.


Cubs: Jason Hammel (5-5, 3.20 ERA) is 6-0 with a 2.25 ERA in eight career starts against the Brewers. He faced Milwaukee in consecutive starts in May, registering a win while surrendering five earned runs over 13 innings.

Brewers: Rookie Taylor Jungmann (5-2, 2.14 ERA) will make his 10th start of the season on Friday night. Milwaukee is 6-3 in those starts. Opponents are batting .210 (43-for-205) with just two home runs against Jungmann.

Gomez traded to Astros after Mets deal falls through

HOUSTON The Astros have added another bat to their lineup as they make a push for the postseason, acquiring two-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez from the Milwaukee Brewers.

Houston also received right-hander Mike Fiers in the deal and sent four prospects to the Brewers: left-hander Josh Hader, right-hander Adrian Houser and outfielders Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana.

"This was a move with an eye toward this year, next year and the year after that, more so than five or seven years from now," Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "That's what our fans want. They want us to win."

Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin said a trade fell through Wednesday that would have sent Gomez to the New York Mets for infielder Wilmer Flores and injured pitcher Zack Wheeler.

Luhnow said he had been talking with Melvin for a few weeks and that they resumed talks on Thursday morning. He raved about Gomez.

"He'll be plugged right in," Luhnow said. "He's an All Star-caliber player. This guy is exciting. Everybody here is going to love him once they get to know him. He's got a lot of energy. ... He has all the tools and abilities in the world."

When Gomez was called into the manager's office by the Brewers on Thursday, he thought they were going to explain to him what happened the day before.

"But they tell me: 'No, you've been traded,'" he said. "And I say: 'Is this going for like two or three hours or is this the real one?' So I was laughing a little bit. But they say, no, it's true that you get traded to the Houston Astros."

To add to the crazy week Gomez has had professionally, he's also a new dad. Already the father to a 6-year-old boy and a 15-month-old boy, Gomez and his wife welcomed a third child 10 days ago.

"Her mom is right here with her, but she has go back to the Dominican, and we are still waiting on the birth certificate and the passport so they can come with me to Houston," he said.

Houston's move came a week after the Astros obtained top starter Scott Kazmir from the Oakland Athletics. Seeking its first postseason appearance since 2005, Houston entered Thursday with a one-game lead in the AL West.

The 29-year-old Gomez is hitting .262 with eight homers and 43 RBIs in 74 games for the Brewers this season. He is making $8 million this season and $9 million in 2016, then can become a free agent.

Gomez, who won a Gold Glove in 2013, is a nine-year veteran coming off a career-best season last year, when he hit .284 with 34 doubles, 23 homers, 73 RBIs and 34 steals. Gomez and Mike Trout are the only players with at least 100 steals and 50 home runs over the last four seasons.

Gomez played for the Mets and the Twins before joining the Brewers in 2010.

Fiers is 5-9 with a 3.89 ERA in 21 starts for Milwaukee this season. He has 121 strikeouts in 118 innings this season. He won't be a free agent until after the 2019 season.

"He's got a good fast ball. His curveball is his out pitch," Luhnow said. "If you look at his numbers, he's been punching out more than a guy an inning for his entire career. He doesn't walk a lot of guys. Very effective."

Before the trade, Melvin bristled at the notion the Mets didn't make their proposed deal because they concluded Gomez has a bad hip.

"Like any typical trade, you have a box you have to check off to get deals approved. In the end, we did have a deal done. When all was said in done there, was a level of discomfort (on the part of the Mets) in making the deal complete," Melvin said.

Gomez's agent Scott Boras said there is nothing wrong with Gomez's hip.

"The Milwaukee medical records were clear," he said. "Carlos had an adductor issue in June, and the MRI revealed it was without issue, just some temporary inflammation. Carlos has never had a hip issue. In fact the medical records stated the hip was structurally clean."

Luhnow said they don't have any concerns about the health of Gomez.

"I know nothing about what happened with the Mets," he said. "We did our homework like we do on every trade, and we're very comfortable with the players we got and the condition that they are in."

Santana was playing in Triple-A Fresno and Hader, Houser and Phillips were all at Double-A Corpus Christi.

Melvin felt lucky to have snagged Phillips.

"Phillips was a young player that they just did not want to put in any deal," he said. "He was supposedly an untouchable."