CHICAGO -- Wily Peralta's bid to become the first 15-game winner in the major leagues came up short at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night.
And while he wasn't the dominating, ground-ball-inducing machine that he has been for the most part this season, he wasn't all that bad, either.
No, this 3-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs fell squarely on the shoulders of the Milwaukee Brewers offense, which struggled to put anything together against right-hander Kyle Hendricks, a 24-year-old who was making just his sixth start in the big leagues.
He limited Milwaukee to just six hits -- all singles -- over 7 1/3 solid innings, really only getting into trouble once with Pedro Strop bailing him out in the seventh as he improved to 4-1.
The Brewers lost a game in the standings to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who beat Detroit to climb to 1 1/2 back in the Central Division. The St. Louis Cardinals lost in Miami to remain three games back.
Peralta (14-7) fell behind early.
The trouble started in the second when Arismendy Alcantara reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Justin Ruggiano followed with a single to left, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead.
Alcantara made it 2-0 in the fourth by singling in Starlin Castro, who reached on a leadoff double.
The Brewers, meanwhile, could get nothing going against Hendricks.
Aramis Ramirez led off the second with a single to left and Carlos Gomez was hit by a pitch in the fourth and that was it as far as offense until the fifth.
In the fifth, Khris Davis drew a one-out walk and went to second on a single by Mark Reynolds, only to see Jean Segura ground into a 6-4-3 double play to quickly end the budding rally.
Anthony Rizzo homered to left-center on the first pitch from Peralta in the bottom of the sixth, giving the Cubs a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead considering the way Hendricks was pitching.
Peralta, who saw his personal five-game winning streak ended, was pulled after walking Hendricks in the seventh. He surrendered seven hits, three runs (earned) and two walks to go along with three strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings (99 pitches).
The Brewers finally got Hendricks on the ropes in the eighth when Reynolds and Segura singled and, after a Gerardo Parra strikeout, Gomez singled to right to load the bases.
That ended the night for Hendricks, who departed to a standing ovation from the crowd of 28,819. He was replaced by Strop, who did his job to perfection by getting Jonathan Lucroy to ground into a 5-3 double play.
The inability to hit Hendricks continued the Brewers' confounding trend of handling former Cy Young Award winners, as they did with Tim Lincecum, Zack Greinke, Jake Peavy and Adam Wainwright over the first 11 days of August, only to fall prey to lesser-known hurlers.
Still, he came in having limited the Dodgers to four hits and one earned run over seven innings in a victory in Los Angeles and the Rockies to six hits and two earned runs in a victory in Colorado in his previous two starts.
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