Kyle Lohse had the Chicago Cubs hitting harmless groundballs early in counts.
He threw in the occasional fastball to keep batters off balance.
The Cubs struggled at the plate with the Milwaukee Brewers veteran locked in with his slider and sinker.
Lohse allowed just three hits in a complete game shutout, and Ryan Braun had a two-run homer in the first inning of a 9-0 rout against the Cubs on Sunday.
Milwaukee pounded Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija (1-5) for eight earned runs in three innings, raising his ERA from 1.68 to 2.54.
“I figured it would be low-scoring on both ends. I knew Kyle had a good chance of keeping them down and I didn’t expect to get a lot of runs off Samardzija. Great offense,” manager Ron Roenicke said. Braun homered to left on the first pitch he saw from Samardzija, and the Brewers rolled from there with Samardzija having trouble locating his fastball. Lyle Overbay broke the game open with a three-run double in the third.
Even Lohse had success at the plate with an RBI single to drive in Overbay to make it 8-0 for the pitcher’s second run-scoring hit of the game. Lohse (7-1) needed just 93 pitches in tossing his eighth career shutout.
“It’s fun to go out there and help out, add on, but that’s not my main job,” Lohse said about his 2 for 3 day with the bat. “My main job was to go out there and get us deep in the game, and I take a little more pride in that.”
With Lohse’s pitch count at just 83 pitches after eight innings, Roenicke wasn’t even thinking about pulling the veteran.
One of the few highlights for Chicago was Brian Schlitter’s single to lead off the seventh for the reliever’s first major league hit.
Otherwise it was a frustrating day for the last-place Cubs. They lost their 14th straight series on the road, a streak dating to last September.
The eight earned runs allowed were as many as Samardzija had given up in his previous six starts.
Cleveland 6, Colorado 4: Michael Bourn didn’t take much time to savor the first walk-off hit of his career.
Racing around the bases as if his two-run homer in the ninth inning was still in play, Bourn was mobbed by his teammates when he reached home plate as the Cleveland Indians completed a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 6-4 win on Sunday.
“I was pretty excited,” said Bourn, who threw his helmet into the air after rounding third before being doused with water. “I was flying around the bases. I was happy not just because I hit a walk-off, but that we got the sweep against a good team. It was a really good moment I won’t forget. My emotions were really going.”
San Francisco 8, St. Louis 0: Tim Hudson threw seven shutout innings and Joaquin Arias keyed a four-run first inning with a two-run single to lead the San Francisco Giants to an 8-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.
The Giants have won five of six and have the best record in the NL at 37-20.
Boston 4, Tampa Bay 0: Jon Lester pitched seven shutout innings and Brock Holt drove in two runs with one of his four doubles to lift the Boston Red Sox to their seventh straight win, completing a three-game sweep over the reeling Tampa Bay Rays with a 4-0 victory on Sunday.
Boston’s streak follows a 10-game skid, its longest in 20 years. The Red Sox said that matches a major league record for consecutive wins after a double-digit losing stretch, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.
N.Y. Mets 4, Philadelphi 3: Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer with two outs in the 11th, lifting the New York Mets over the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 Sunday in the third straight extra-innings game between the teams.
The Mets and Phillies split a pair of 14-inning games the previous two days, combining to play nearly 11 hours.
Atlanta 4, Miami 2: Evan Gattis broke a ninth-inning tie with a two-run homer, and the Atlanta Braves completed a three-game sweep by beating the Miami Marlins 4-2 Sunday
Shae Simmons, pitching in his second big league game, earned his first career save when he retired Christian Yelich with two on for the final out. Closer Craig Kimbrel was given the day off because of a heavy recent workload.
Texas 2, Washington 0: Yu Darvish struck out 12 over eight innings, Leonys Martin broke open a scoreless duel with a homer in the seventh and the Texas Rangers beat the Washington Nationals 2-0 Sunday to avert a three-game sweep.
Pitching for the first time since May 22 after missing his last turn with a stiff neck, Darvish (5-2) gave up five hits and walked two in dropping his ERA to 2.08. The right-hander matched his season high in strikeouts and overpowered a team that amassed 19 runs in the first two games of the series.