Brewers shut down Cubs bats, win 2-0

This idea of Friday night baseball at Wrigley Field seems to suit just about everybody.

"Actually, there's no reason why it shouldn't always be a Friday night, period," said Cubs manager Joe Maddon before his team went out and lost 2-0 to the Milwaukee Brewers. "It's like it's a big deal right now, but it shouldn't be because Friday night baseball is appropriate. It should always be appropriate. There's plenty of time on the weekend to enjoy Saturdays and Sundays. I'm happy that it turned out this way, but it always should be this way.

"They invented lights for a reason. God invented lights for night baseball. That was part of his overarching plan."

The Cubs and Brewers played the first regular-season Friday night game in the history of Wrigley Field. The game originally was scheduled for 1:20 p.m., but the Cubs got special approval from the city of Chicago to move it to 7:05.

That initially caused the Brewers to do some crying into their beer, but they came around to it, especially after using Thursday's off-day to regroup from getting swept in three games at Cincinnati this week. With the victory over the Cubs, the Brewers improved to 73-68 and moved within 4 games of the first-place Cubs (77-64) in the National League Central.

"Rest is not a bad thing at this time of the year, for sure," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. ""Look, the game is at 7 o'clock. We're here. We're playing at 7 o'clock. It's all good. I understand why they changed it. If it would have been reversed, they wouldn't changed it. Nobody would have argued with that, and everybody would do the same thing.

"Sleep's a bipartisan issue, man. Everybody wants more sleep. Nobody's going to argue against getting more sleep."

The Cubs got the game changed because they played a night game at Pittsburgh Thursday and wanted to get their players some extra rest. Counsell gave an interesting answer when asked if the Brewers would have done the same thing.

"If we had a chance to change it, I think we would have," he said. "We would have tried to. Would they (Major League Baseball) have let us? Maybe a bigger question. But that gets into the conspiracy part of the world.

"I think it's an advantage for them to have the game changed to tonight, yes, because nobody wants to sleep for five hours and play. We would obviously prefer it the other way, but the game's at 7. Let's go. Let's go play."

Ryan Braun gave the Brewers a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a home run in the first inning against the wind. It was Braun's 300th career homer, and it came off Cubs starting pitcher John Lackey.

"Felt really good tonight," said Lackey, who fell to 11-11. "Really, with the week off, I was almost a little too strong the first inning."

From there, it was a good night for Lackey, who wound up pitching 7 innings and giving up 4 hits.

Cubs batters did little with Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson, who lasted 5 shutout innings. He came out of the game because of soreness in his right arm. He went back into first base awkwardly, jamming his shoulder, after singling off the wall in the top of the fifth, but he pitched the bottom of the inning.

The Cubs' Anthony Rizzo hit one to the warning track with two outs and two on in the fifth but he got it up into the wind, and the ball stayed in the park.

• Follow Bruce's Cubs and baseball reports on Twitter @BruceMiles2112.

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