How it happened: Former Cub Aramis Ramirez delivered a two-run single in the eighth inning to break a tie and put the Brewers up for good. It was just the second series the Cubs have lost so far this season after winning four of them and tying two more. Cubs starter Jason Hammel gave up three runs on five hits over six innings. Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson gave up three runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings.
What it means: The dynamic, but young, Cubs offense was held in check for a fourth consecutive game. The Cubs had scored just one run in each of its previous three games, before matching that total output Sunday. Even with those three runs, it means the Cubs are scoring just 1.5 runs per game over their last four contests. Before that, the Cubs had averaged 5.4 runs a game over their previous eight games.
Scary stuff: The Wrigley Field crowd was silenced to a whisper in the eighth inning when the Brewers’ Jean Segura was hit in the front of the helmet by a Pedro Strop pitch. Segura, who was attempting a bunt when he was beaned, lay on the ground motionless as he was helped by the Brewers training staff. He eventually got to his feet and jogged to first base, but was then removed from the game and replaced by Hector Gomez.
Outside the box: By giving up three runs over his six innings, Hammel gave the Cubs their 12th quality start of the season. The Cubs entered 10-1 in the previous 11 instances. And before Hammel’s outing, Cubs starters had been 8-1 with a 1.95 ERA in those 11 quality starts. When the Cubs don’t get a quality start, they are 3-8.
Off beat: The starting pitchers were dueling all right, but not in the most obvious place. In the bottom of the second inning, Hammel gave the Cubs their first run, tying the score 1-1, on a sacrifice fly to center field. A half inning later Nelson topped that with a one-out double and then scoring on a single from Carlos Gomez, sliding home just ahead of the throw from Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler.
Up next: The Cubs will send out left-hander Travis Wood (2-1, 3.04 ERA) to start a four-game series at St. Louis on Monday. The Cardinals will counter with right-hander Carlos Martinez (3-0, 1.73) in the 8:10 p.m. ET start at Busch Stadium.