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Yelich, Perkins and Adames homer as Brewers come to life against Cubs, Imanaga in 10-6 win

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Christian Yelich, Blake Perkins and Willy Adames hit home runs and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 10-6 on Wednesday night, handing Shota Imanaga his first loss.

Rookie Joey Ortiz, batting leadoff for the first time, hit a double off Imanaga (5-1) in the first. Two batters later, Yelich crushed a 441-foot home run to right-center to give the Brewers an early 2-0 lead.

Imanaga entered the game with major league-leading 0.84 ERA. He had allowed five earned runs in his first nine starts before being charged with seven on Wednesday as his ERA climbed to 1.86.

Yelich’s first home run since April 10 at Cincinnati also halted Milwaukee’s 32 2/3-inning scoreless streak against Cubs starters this season and accounted for the only first-inning runs allowed by Imanaga.

“He’s got good stuff. He’s a really good pitcher,” Yelich said. “We had some really good at-bats and got some pitches to hit and didn’t really miss them. We took advantage of our opportunities tonight. We got some big hits with guys on and that was the difference.”

Ian Happ’s solo homer off Bryse Wilson in the second pulled the Cubs to within a run.

Perkins made a leaping grab at the center field fence to rob Christopher Morel of a two-run homer in the third.

Perkins said his ability to make the play comes from practicing catches at the wall during batting practice.

“It’s knowing the ball flight off the bat, I feel like I’ve made that play so many times. It’s just kind of natural now,” he said.

The Brewers scored five runs in the third. Adames had a run-scoring single, Gary Sánchez drove in a pair with a double and Perkins capped the inning with a two-run homer to push Milwaukee’s lead to 7-1.

Imanaga gave up a season-high eight hits in 4 1/3 innings, his second-shortest outing of the season. He had one walk and one strikeout in the 82-pitch outing. He entered having struck out at least seven batters in five consecutive starts.

“He wasn’t as sharp as we’ve seen him in the past. They hit his mistakes. It wasn’t a great night for Shota,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell said.

Imanaga said he mostly struggled with his changeup.

“I didn’t throw it where I wanted to,” Imanaga said through an interpreter. “They were making adjustments and I didn’t have the consistency today.”

The Cubs pushed across a run in the fourth on Michael Busch’s groundout. They added two more in the fifth.

Perkins made a spectacular diving catch of on the warning track to take away an extra-base hit from Happ in the seventh. Milwaukee added three more runs in their half of the inning, two on Adames’ ninth homer of the season.

The Cubs added a pair of runs in the ninth.

Perkins’ stellar defense earned praise from Yelich.

“He pretty much won the game for us on defense, not even counting what he did for us at the plate,” Yelich said. “It’s probably the best game I’ve ever seen him play and it was a great time for it.”

Wilson, who stood near the mound with his hands raised above his head for several seconds after Perkins’ home run-stealing grab at the fence, agreed.

“For him to have the game he did today is awesome and it makes everybody happy because of the person that he is off the field,” Wilson said. “He’s an awesome dude and for him to start becoming the player he can truly be is really fun to watch.”

Jared Koenig (5-1) pitched two innings of scoreless relief to get the win.

UP NEXT

RHP Jameson Taillon (3-2, 2.58 ERA) pitches for the Cubs and RHP Colin Rea (4-2, 3.98) starts for the Brewers in the series finale on Thursday.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

By RICH ROVITO
Associated Press

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