MILWAUKEE — The Cubs came out swinging hot bats Saturday — not that it mattered in the end.
The Marlins’ victory against the Pirates knocked the Cubs out of playoff contention. The Cubs beat the Brewers 10-6, snapping a four-game skid in a game that ended up having no bearing on the postseason.
Their first-inning six-run rally included a leadoff home run from Christopher Morel, a grand slam from Yan Gomes and a solo shot from Patrick Wisdom.
Rookie starter Jordan Wicks had a rare bad outing and surrendered six runs in 1⅔ innings, but the Cubs stormed back again.
They weren’t perfect in a fourth-inning surge, making two outs at home. But they hit well enough to score two more runs regardless. The Cubs had five consecutive hits, with Morel and Bellinger hitting doubles off the wall.
In the fifth inning, Jeimer Candelario legged out a leadoff double. Rookie Alexander Canario drove him home with a triple that caromed off the wall in left-center.
The Cubs loaded the bases in the sixth with a double from Happ and two walks. Happ scored on Gomes’ groundout to the right side.
The game had the kind of all-hands-on-deck feeling that postseason games hold. Veteran starter Jameson Taillon came out of the bullpen for the first regular-season relief appearance of his major-league career — he had one postseason outing as a reliever — to complete the bullpen’s spotless night.
The first sign that Ross had seen the Marlins-Pirates final score came in the top of the eighth, when he had rookie Miguel Amaya pinch-hit for Gomes. Rookie Pete Crow-Armstrong was the next young replacement.
Hoerner sits out with knee injury
Second baseman Nico Hoerner was out of the lineup Saturday, a day after he exited with a bruised left knee. In his absence, Christopher Morel started at second base.
Hoerner woke up with soreness in the knee, the team said. He underwent treatment before the game.
Hoerner fouled a ball off the knee in the sixth inning of the Cubs’ 4-3 extra-inning loss to the Brewers on Friday. He stayed in to finish the at-bat and play in the field in the bottom half of the inning. But he left in the seventh.
After making that move, manager David Ross’ options at second base were limited. Morel was serving as the designated hitter at the time, so if Ross moved him to second base, the Cubs would lose the DH spot. Wisdom played second for the rest of the game for what he said was his first time at the position since high school.
“It was exciting to walk over there, honestly,” Wisdom told the Sun-Times on Saturday. “I was super-pumped to do that. [Bench coach Andy Green] and Dansby helped me out with positioning. So once I was in the right spot, you feel normal. I wish I got a ground ball, but it’s part of the game.”
Rare short start for Wicks
Left-hander Jordan Wicks has impressed in his debut season. But his last start of the regular season Saturday wrapped up the year on a sour note.
Wicks entered with a 3.00 ERA in six starts. His shortest outing had been four innings. He had given up three home runs all season.
“We know that we need to play better,” Wisdom said before the game Saturday. “And I know that this is causing turmoil within people just because we know we can play better, and we know what’s at stake. I know it’s driving me nuts – like geez. But that’s just baseball, right? And it’s going to come down to the wire. And it’s exciting; we’re playing meaningful games at the end of September. These are the cool moments in baseball, and it’s exciting, but it is hard to accept that our fate’s ultimately in other teams’ hands.”