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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 18, 2018

Cubs top Brewers to increase NL Central lead

By Andrew Gruman, The Sports Xchange | Jul 31, 2017

MILWAUKEE — Rookie Victor Caratini hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the seventh inning to lift the Chicago Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday afternoon.

By taking the rubber game of a crucial three-game series between the top two teams in the National League Central, the Cubs increased their lead to 2 1/2 games over the second-place Brewers.

Milwaukee won the series opener 2-1 on Friday night to pull to within one-half game of first place. Chicago answered with a 2-1 win in 11 innings Saturday.

Caratini was in the Cubs’ lineup at first base Sunday in place of Anthony Rizzo, who was unable to play due to back stiffness.

The backup catcher fell behind 0-2 before fouling off a pair of pitches and taking a ball before drilling a fastball from Zach Davies out to dead center field for his first major league home run.

Kris Bryant added a solo shot off reliever Jacob Barnes in the eighth for his 20th homer.

John Lackey (8-9) limited the Brewers to just two runs on five hits over six innings to move to 3-0 with a 2.81 ERA in three starts since the All-Star break.

Wade Davis pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his 22nd save of the season.

The Cubs broke through against Davies with four consecutive two-out hits in the sixth inning. Jon Jay singled to center, moved to third on a double by Bryant and scored on an infield single by Wilson Contreras.

Addison Russell followed with a single to center to make it 2-0.

Milwaukee quickly answered in the bottom of the inning, as Domingo Santana hit a two-run homer that hit off the top of the right field wall and bounced over.

Davies (12-5) was hit for his first loss since June 20, allowing three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts over seven innings.

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