Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Mike Fiers had 12 strikeouts and Milwaukee Brewers pitchers combined for 18 punchouts in a 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
Fiers (1-3) didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning and finished with one run allowed on three hits and two walks in six innings. Jeremy Jeffress, Will Smith and Francisco Rodriguez each threw an inning to finish the game.
"It's great to get a great start like this, and get a good team win," said Fiers. "The next start, I have in the back of my mind that I can still do this."
Jean Segura had a 4-for-5 day with two runs batted in and a stolen base, but Ryan Braun struck the biggest blow of the game with a two-run homer in the first inning. Carlos Gomez returned from the disabled list to pick up a hit and steal two bases.
Jake Arrieta (3-2) failed to pitch a quality start for the first time this season, allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk despite striking out six in five innings. Anthony Rizzo's solo home run accounted for the Cubs' only run.
As he is in many at-bats on the road, Braun was showered with boos from fans as he walked to the plate in the first inning. With Segura on first, he hit Arrieta's first offering over the wall in center field to give the Brewers a quick 2-0 lead.
Milwaukee doubled its lead in the second. Martin Maldonado was on second when Gomez singled to right field. First baseman Rizzo and second baseman Addison Russell both lunged to catch the ball and collided with each other. They remained in the game, but Maldonado scored on the play. After Gomez stole two bases, Segura singled him in for a 4-0 lead.
Fiers issued two walks in the first inning but retired the next 12 batters in a row before Chris Denorfia tallied Chicago's first hit with a single. Russell singled with two outs, but Jorge Soler struck out to end the fifth-inning threat.
In the sixth, Fiers threw a belt-high fastball to Rizzo, who made him pay with his third home run of the season. The Cubs did not have a runner reach scoring position over the final three innings.
In the seventh, the Brewers called for Segura to put down a suicide squeeze bunt to score Gerardo Parra from third base. It landed foul, but on the next pitch, his triple to center field brought Parra home.
A poor display of fielding cost Chicago another run in the ninth. Schafer's ground ball to shortstop Starlin Castro could have been an out, but his throw in the dirt went past Rizzo. He took his time recovering the ball, and Schafer took off for third. Rizzo's throw to third sailed over everyone and Schafer came home to make it a 6-1 Brewers lead.
"It looked awful, and it was," said Cubs manager Joe Maddon.
Rodriguez struck out three after giving up a leadoff single to Miguel Montero in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.
Schafer replaced Gomez in center field in the sixth inning ... Milwaukee's Aramis Ramirez missed another game with a sore hamstring ... Chicago had only five hits ... Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant struck out four times ... Milwaukee will send Jimmy Nelson to the mound in search of its first series win of the season on Sunday. The Cubs will counter with Jason Hammel.