Rizzo's homer caps Cubs' win over Brewers

Rizzo's homer caps Cubs' win over Brewers

MILWAUKEE -- Anthony Rizzo belted his third homer in as many games, Starlin Castro drove in two runs and Jason Hammel continued to frustrate the Brewers as the Cubs posted a 4-1 victory Friday night in front of 35,669 at Miller Park.

Hammel served up six hits, including Ryan Braun's 19th home run with two outs in the first. The Cubs right-hander improved to 7-0 in nine career starts against the Brewers, who also are a favorite target for Rizzo. The first baseman, who hit a three-run blast on Thursday, now has 12 homers against Milwaukee, his most against any team.

"I like pitching here," said Hammel, who is 5-0 with a 1.60 ERA in six starts at Miller Park. "The ball feels good in my hand, I have a good grip. It is what it is. Those things, I can't really explain."

The Brewers struggled to get any offense going now that they're without Carlos Gomez and Gerardo Parra, who were both traded before Friday's Trade Deadline. Taylor Jungmann took the loss, throwing a career-high 112 pitches over 5 2/3 innings. With the win, the Cubs evened the season series at 4-4.

Brewers continue recent restocking at Deadline

"We've lost a couple of guys," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Up and down the lineup, we're going to have to get collectively hot."

Counsell on Brewers' 4-1 loss

Feeling stronger: Friday was Hammel's best outing since he was bothered by a left hamstring strain before the All-Star break. In two starts since, he had given up seven earned runs over 8 2/3 innings. Hammel struck out four and walked two over 5 2/3 innings, his longest outing since July 3, when he went seven.

"It was probably his best outing since that little gaffe with his leg," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. More >

Hammel's solid start

Braun bomb: Braun put the Brewers on the board with a solo blast into the right-center-field bullpen. The homer came on a 3-2 pitch from Hammel and was No. 249 of Braun's career. He's now just two away from tying Robin Yount for the most home runs in Brewers franchise history.

Cubs improve pitching, explore bigger trades

Staying put: The Trade Deadline passed, and Castro was not moved, as Maddon had told the shortstop. Castro came through early Friday, hitting a game-tying RBI single in the second. In the fourth, Rizzo singled, moved up on a wild pitch and scored the go-ahead run two batters later, when Castro hit into a fielder's choice.

Castro's RBI single

"It made me a little frustrated, thinking about [the rumors]," Castro said. "Now it's over, and I'm trying to finish the season strong." More >

Castro's RBI groundout

Jungmann at bat: Jungmann attempted to help himself at the plate. The rookie pitcher singled in the third and hit his first career double to right field over the outstretched glove of Jorge Soler in the fifth, raising his batting average to .294. The Brewers couldn't drive him in, though, continuing their recent struggles offensively. They've managed just 15 runs in their last nine games.

Opportunity abounds as Crew seeks offense

"My approach is to try to take the ball the other way," Jungmann said. "[Hammel] got the ball up a couple of times, so I had a chance to poke it the other way."

Jungmann's first career double

Rizzo is batting .302 (61-for-202) on the road this season, with 13 home runs and 40 RBIs. He tied a career high by homering in three straight games.

Cubs: Kyle Hendricks will make his 21st start of the season on Saturday. The right-hander, who has a 4.31 ERA in 11 road starts, threw 5 1/3 shutout innings against the Brewers on May 10 at Miller Park, but he did not get a decision. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. CT.

Brewers: Matt Garza is set to start Saturday, and it will mark the third outing for the veteran right-hander since coming off the disabled list. Garza has allowed just three runs in 11 2/3 innings during that span, and two of those runs scored when Arizona's Chris Owings hit a slider in the dirt for a double.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. Brandon Curry is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.