Cubs’ Mills through 8 hitless innings vs Brewers

Sports

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Alec Mills throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Chicago Cubs pitcher Alec Mills has completed eight hitless innings against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Mills has walked three Sunday and hasn’t let a runner past first base. He’s struck out four and thrown 102 pitches.

He’s due to face nine-hitter Jacob Nottingham to start the ninth, followed by late-game replacements Tyrone Taylor and Jace Peterson. Those two filled in for Avisail Garcia and 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich after the game turned into a blowout.

The 28-year-old right-hander has been rounding back into form for Chicago after starting the year strong and then slumping. He pitched six shutout innings in his previous start Tuesday against Cincinnati and entered Sunday 4-3 with a 4.74 ERA this season.

Garcia nearly got to Mills twice. He hit a hard liner to right to lead off the Brewers’ first and nearly legged out an infield hit to short for the final out of the sixth. He crossed first and immediately called to the Brewers dugout for a review, but after a very brief stoppage, the Brewers opted not to challenge.

Mills now has Chicago’s longest no-hit bid this season. Rotation mate Yu Darvish completed 6 1/3 hitless innings against Milwaukee at Wrigley Field on Aug. 13 before allowing a homer to Justin Smoak.

Mills was a 22nd-round draft pick by Kansas City in 2012. He had started just six major league games prior to this season but cracked Chicago’s rotation because of an injury to Jose Quintana. He went 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in his first two starts, struggled in his next five but pitched solidly Tuesday against the Reds.

The Cubs led 10-0 after scoring five unearned runs in the fourth. Neither team had a hit through three innings.

Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano has thrown the only no-hitter at Miller Park, against the Houston Astros on Sept. 14, 2008. The Cubs played the Astros in Milwaukee because of damage in the Houston area from Hurricane Ike.

This would be the Cubs first no-hitter since Jake Arrieta did it twice in a few months: at the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 30, 2015, and at Cincinnati on April 21, 2016.

Milwaukee had not been held hitless since Detroit’s Justin Verlander pitched the first of his three gems on June 12, 2007.

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