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Hamels returns and pitches Cubs past the Brewers


Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (24) throws the ball against the Milwaukee Brewers during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)

CHICAGO (AP) — Cole Hamels pitched five shutout innings after spending five weeks on the injured list, Albert Almora Jr. hit a tiebreaking home run and the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-1 on Saturday.

Out since June 28 because of a strained left oblique, Hamels allowed four singles, walked none and struck out six.

The four-time All Star picked up where he left off before his injury. In five starts before getting hurt in a game at Cincinnati, the 35-year-old lefty pitched at least seven innings and was 2-1 with a 1.00 ERA.

Almora hit a solo homer in the seventh off reliever Junior Guerra (3-3) into the Wrigley Field basket just inside the left-field foul pole for a 2-1 lead.

Almora added a sacrifice fly in a two-run eighth that included an RBI single by Javier Báez. In the second, Báez tripled and scored.

Rowan Wick (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh for his first major league victory. Closer Craig Kimbrel got his ninth save in 11 chances.

Ryan Braun singled in the lone run for the Brewers, who have lost three in a row and five of six.

The Cubs lost All-Star catcher Willson Contreras to an apparent hamstring injury. There was no immediate word on the severity of the setback.

Contreras pulled up and grabbed the back of his right leg as he exited the batter’s box after hitting a drive in the seventh that was caught.

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