Corbin Burnes will attempt to follow up a sensational outing when the Milwaukee Brewers host the Chicago Cubs on Saturday night in the middle contest of a three-game series.
The right-handed Burnes pitched eight no-hit innings and struck out 14 in a 3-0 road win over the Cleveland Indians last Saturday. He walked just one batter but was pulled after a career-most 115 pitches by manager Craig Counsell.
Left-handed closer Josh Hader struck out two in the ninth to complete the no-hitter, just the second in Brewers' history. Left-hander Juan Nieves (1987) threw the other.
Burnes (10-4, 2.25 ERA) said afterward that he knew he had no chance of being sent out to pitch the ninth.
"Anyone would want to keep pitching in that situation, but if there was anyone I would want out there for the ninth, it would be Josh Hader," Burnes said. "There were no nerves with him. It was more like a done deal when he came in."
Burnes will look to help Milwaukee (90-57) beat the Cubs for the 11th straight time. The Brewers won the series opener 8-5 Friday night and are 14-3 against Chicago this season.
Burnes, a National League All-Star, has struck out 210 in 152 innings and has won eight straight decisions.
One of the victories came against Chicago on Aug. 11, when Burnes struck out a career-high 15 and gave up four hits over eight scoreless innings.
He also matched the major-league record by fanning 10 in a row. Tom Seaver of the New York Mets set the record in 1970, and Aaron Nola of the Philadelphia Phillies also accomplished the feat on June 25.
The 26-year-old Burnes has dominated the Cubs this season and hasn't allowed a run in 14 innings while winning both starts. He struck out 25 and allowed just six hits.
Burnes owns a 2-1 record with a 3.38 ERA in 10 career appearances (four starts) against Chicago.
Milwaukee has a magic number of two to clinch an NL playoff berth and four to wrap up the NL Central over the St. Louis Cardinals.
"We want to get that Central crown," Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong said afterward. "That NL Central crown is something we've talked about since spring training. We've believed in each other since spring training, even though people were counting us out."
Wong delivered the tie-breaking, two-run single during a four-run eighth-inning uprising in Friday's comeback victory.
Chicago's bullpen unraveled in the eighth inning and gave up three hits and four walks. Right-hander Rowan Wick was charged with all four runs.
"Some nights things work out," Cubs manager David Ross said afterward. "What did we have -- nine walks tonight? Just in general we've got to not give free passes.
The Cubs (66-82) have dropped three straight games and six of their past seven. They also clinched their first non-winning campaign since 2014 with Friday's setback.
Frank Schwindel hit his 14th homer of the season for Chicago.
Left-hander Justin Steele (3-3, 4.17) will start for the Cubs on Saturday.
The 26-year-old Steele lost to the San Francisco Giants on Sunday after allowing five runs (four earned) and 10 hits in five innings.
Steele faced the Brewers on Aug. 10 and took the loss. He gave up three runs and five hits over five innings and served up homers to Willy Adames and Avisail Garcia.
Adames (quadriceps) is on the injured list and is expected to be activated Monday. Garcia (back) has missed the past two games but could be available on Saturday.
Steele is 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA in three career appearances (one start) versus Milwaukee.
--Field Level Media