The benches are cleared after 5HBP and the Cubs beat Brewers 9-0; Suzuki 3 RBI
By SARAH TROTTO
CHICAGO (AP) — Seiya Suzuki had three runs for his first big league RBI and the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-0 on Saturday for a grueling win that saw five batters hit by pitches and benches cleared.
The teams exchanged words but no punches in the eighth after Andrew McCutchen was hit by a pitch from Cubs reliever Keegan Thompson, who was ejected for the first time in his career.
As McCutchen slowly made his way to first base while chewing on Thompson, players from both bullpens ran into the field.
“Everyone and their mom knew when I came to bat I was going to get hit,” McCutchen said. “(Seeker Willson) Contreras didn’t even move his glove behind the plate when I got hit.”
Thompson said the pitch got away from him.
“I don’t think there was any intention of anyone getting hit by pitches today except one,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
Three Cubs were hit by pitches. Ian Happ came out for a pinch in the seventh after being hit in the knee on a pitch by Trevor Gott. Brandon Woodruff hit Contreras in the fourth and Nick Madrigal in the first. Contreras was also hit by a pitch in Thursday’s season opener.
“I know they don’t try to do that, but like I said before, if you don’t have the order to come in, don’t go in because you’re going to hurt someone” , said Contreras.
Contreras was hit 15 times by the Brewers during his career.
“Nobody likes getting hit over and over and by the same group,” Cubs manager David Ross said.
Ethan Roberts made his major league debut in the ninth for Chicago and hit Christian Yelich with a slider.
Suzuki, a Japanese outfielder who signed a five-year, $85 million contract as the Cubs’ biggest offseason acquisition, had a sacrifice steal, a loaded walk and a single. Happ and Frank Schwindel added two hits apiece for the Cubs, who started a 2-0 season for the first time since 2016.
Justin Steele (1-0) retired five of five scoreless innings for the rebuilding Cubs. The southpaw was 4-4 with a 4.26 ERA in his first major league season in 2021.
Woodruff (0-1) struggled for defending champions NL Central. The right-hander allowed seven runs, six hits and three walks, striking out two in 3 2/3 innings for his shortest outing since Aug. 12, also against the Cubs.
“I don’t want to put anything on the shortened spring training. I felt good today,” Woodruff said.
Last season, Woodruff walked 43 in 179 1/3 innings, finishing 9-10 with a career-low 2.56 ERA.
Both starting pitchers were delayed a day due to rain on Friday.
Woodruff started his start with a first walk, hit a batter and walked two more to score a run. After another run scored on a grounder, Suzuki’s sacrifice fly made it 3-0.
Suzuki also made runs on a single in the third and a full walk from José Ureña in the fourth. Suzuki singled for his first major league hit in his major league debut on Thursday.
Patrick Wisdom hit a two-run single to the infield in the sixth.
HE SAID IT
About getting hit with a pitch, McCutchen said, “back when guys knew it was coming, you had it right away.” He disagreed with Thompson throwing a first-pitch slider before hitting him after three more pitches.
“I take it a bit personal when you throw pitches out of speed the first pitch and then try to hit somebody. To hurt him? That’s exactly what you’re trying to do,” McCutchen said.
Happ said the X-ray results were negative, but he expects his knee to be stiff on Sunday.
Cubs: SS Andrelton Simmons (right shoulder pain) continues his pitching program at Arizona. … LHP Wade Miley (left elbow inflammation) was expected to play a slight catch today. … RHP Alec Mills (lumbar strain) is expected to kick off another bullpen this weekend. All three are eligible to exit IL on April 14.
RHP Freddy Peralta (10-5, 2.81 ERA) is expected to start for the Brewers against the Cubs and RHP Marcus Stroman in Sunday’s series finale. Stroman was 10-13 with a 3.02 ERA with the Mets last season.
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