By Associated Press
MILWAUKEE (AP) Jason Hammel studied up on the Milwaukee Brewers. He passed a tough test Saturday.
The Cubs right-hander watched from the dugout the previous night as the Brewers pounded out 16 hits against his fellow Chicago pitchers, and he was determined not to let that happen again.
Lesson learned: Hammel had a season-high eight strikeouts in seven strong innings, and Anthony Rizzo hit two two-run homers to lift Chicago to an 8-0 win.
"They're aggressive. ... They've really been working the ball the other way," Hammel said. "So, I made sure they knew that I was throwing in. Today, I had a pretty good slider. I kept them off balance."
Hammel (6-3) also hit two batters, but otherwise allowed just four hits to an opponent that came into the day with at least 10 in nine straight games. On Saturday, Rizzo provided the offensive highlights.
Both of Rizzo's homers came on full-count pitches and went deep to right, the second one into the second deck to give the Cubs a four-run lead in the sixth.
The Cubs chased Brewers starter Wily Peralta (4-5) in the five-run sixth that started with a single from Hammel, who later scored on Rizzo's homer.
"He had a couple bad pitches to Rizzo, and Rizzo gives him trouble," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "He makes mistakes to him and Rizzo does not miss them."