Kolten Wong helped the Milwaukee Brewers get their six-game winning streak rolling, and he is eager to return to the lineup as the team looks to maintain the run.
The second baseman, who missed his second consecutive game due to left calf tightness on Monday, is anxious for manager Craig Counsell to write his name in the lineup as the Brewers continue their series against the visiting Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
“I told Couns I hope tomorrow’s a lot better,” Wong said Monday. “Every day’s been dramatically better.”
Milwaukee routed Chicago 14-4 in Monday’s series opener on the strength of a 10-run eighth inning that broke open a 4-all tie.
Six Brewers logged multi-hit games, with Avisail Garcia, Willy Adames and Keston Hiura each delivering home runs. Hiura had two hits and four RBIs, Garcia had three hits and three RBIs and Adames had two hits and three RBIs.
Jackie Bradley Jr. collected two hits in the eighth inning alone, including a double that put Milwaukee in front to stay.
Although Counsell said before the game that Wong could be available for a possible pinch-hitting appearance, Wong remained on the bench to rest.
An offseason acquisition who spent the first eight seasons of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals, Wong has had two stints on the injured list this year due to a strained left oblique.
“That’s the biggest thing for me,” Wong said. “It’s something about this year and the injury bug — I’m just trying to fight and get that out of there. The past couple years have been pretty good, and kind of dealing with little things here and there has been frustrating.”
With four straight losses and 10 defeats in their past 14 games, the Cubs certainly can attest to aggravation.
The series loomed as a big one for both teams, with Chicago in position to tie Milwaukee atop the National League Central with a three-game sweep.
That result no longer is possible as the Cubs look to regroup.
“I think the division always brings a little extra, and the guys that are leading the division that you’re chasing always bring a little extra,” Chicago manager David Ross said.
Ian Happ (two hits) and Patrick Wisdom both delivered two-run homers for the Cubs on Monday. First baseman Anthony Rizzo was out of the lineup because of lower back tightness and is day-to-day.
Chicago has been outscored 30-9 during the losing streak while striking out at least 12 times in each game.
Right-hander Brandon Woodruff (6-3, 1.89 ERA) is set to start Tuesday for the Brewers. He is 1-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 11 career appearances against the Cubs, including nine starts, with 62 strikeouts in 50 innings. That includes three dominant starts this season in which he went 1-0 with a 0.47 ERA, striking out 22 and walking three in 19 innings.
Righty Zach Davies (5-4, 4.31) gets the call for the Cubs in his first appearance since starting Cubs’ combined no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday. He tossed six innings, walking five and fanning four, before he was lifted after making 94 pitches. Three relievers completed the no-no.
Davies, who made 111 starts with Milwaukee from 2015-19, will face the Brewers for the first time in his career.
–Field Level Media