CHICAGO, Ill. (AP) - CHICAGO (AP) — It’s a big weekend for the Milwaukee Brewers, and they know it.
So far, so good.
Hernan Perez homered and drove in five runs, and the Brewers pounded the Chicago Cubs 15-2 on Saturday.
Chase Anderson pitched five scoreless innings as Milwaukee pulled within three games of NL Central-leading Chicago. Anderson also helped himself with two hits and two RBIs hours after the Brewers announced Jimmy Nelson has a shoulder injury that will sideline the right-hander for the rest of the season.
Milwaukee broke it open with eight runs in the third against Mike Montgomery (5-8) and reliever Justin Grimm. Travis Shaw and Orlando Arcia each hit a two-run double, Ryan Braun scored on a balk by Grimm, and Perez had a sacrifice fly.
The Brewers will shoot for a series sweep at Wrigley Field on Sunday.
“We need it,” Shaw said. “We’re running out of time. Every game is kind of a must-win at this point.”
Anderson (9-3) retired his first 10 batters before walking Kris Bryant with one out in the fourth. Ben Zobrist singled with two down for Chicago’s only hit off Anderson, but Albert Almora Jr. grounded out to end the inning.
“My biggest thing was to get the guys back in the dugout, get them swinging the bats,” Anderson said. “And we swung the bats really well today.
“Tomorrow is going to be a big game for us if we can sweep these guys at this place and go back home with confidence. We’re getting hot at the right time.”
Perez made it 11-0 with a two-run drive down the left-field line in the fifth. It was his 14th homer of the season.
Kyle Schwarber’s solo shot in the eighth ended Milwaukee’s bid for a second straight shutout. Leonys Martin added an RBI double in the ninth, but Chicago finished with just six hits.
“That started out bad and got worse,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Eventually we didn’t get anybody hurt so that’s probably the biggest positive tonight.”
Montgomery struggled with his control, issuing four of Chicago’s nine walks. The left-hander was charged with four runs and two hits in two-plus innings while subbing for Jake Arrieta, who is out with a right hamstring strain.
“The command wasn’t there today,” said Montgomery, who was 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in his three previous starts.
Nelson jammed his shoulder while diving back to first during Milwaukee’s 2-0 win on Friday night. Nelson, who is 12-6 with a 3.49 ERA, has a strained right rotator cuff strain and partial anterior labrum tear.
General manager David Stearns said he does not know if surgery is needed.
“I’m pretty sore now,” Nelson said after Saturday’s game. “I’m going to go, probably in the next few days and get a second opinion, just to make for sure.”
Manager Craig Counsell said he didn’t yet know who would fill Nelson’s spot in the rotation.
Cubs: C Willson Contreras (strained right hamstring) was scheduled to rejoin the team in Chicago after serving as the designated hitter for Class A Myrtle Beach on Friday. Maddon said he wasn’t sure when Contreras, who has been out since Aug. 9, would return to the lineup. ... SS Addison Russell (plantar fasciitis in the right foot) ran and tossed a football on the field for a second straight day and said he is slowly improving.
Milwaukee right-hander Zach Davies (16-8, 3.77 ERA) faces Chicago right-hander Kyle Hendricks (6-4, 3.29 ERA) in the series finale. Davies is 9-4 with a 2.37 ERA over his last 14 starts. Hendricks is 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA in his last three.