- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - Ryan Braun’s two-run, pinch-hit double made it close. The Milwaukee Brewers needed a little more to stop the surging Chicago Cubs.

Addison Russell’s two-out, two-run triple in the sixth inning snapped a tie and the Cubs held off the Brewers 4-3 on Tuesday night to secure their best 20-game start since 1907.

Brewers starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson (3-2) pitched 5 1/3 innings and left after leaving two men on base with the score tied at 1. Russell put the Cubs ahead to stay with a two-run triple off Carlos Torres in the sixth.

“His pitch count just kind of got up there quick on him, but he did a nice job,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “They got the big two-out hit.”

Nelson is familiar with the Cubs lineup from his time in the minor leagues and analyzed their performance against him.

“They were pretty patient today. The Cubs probably only swung at a handful of off-speed pitches,” Nelson said. “I walked a few too many guys and I got my pitch count up a little bit right there.”

Anthony Rizzo added an RBI single in the seventh and Adam Warren (2-0) struck out three in two scoreless innings as the Cubs improved to 15-5, surpassing the 1969 club’s 14-6 start. The 1907 World Series-winning team began 16-4.

With a 16 mph wind blowing in and the wind chill 34 degrees at first pitch, runs were at a premium. Third baseman Aaron Hill’s fielding error to begin the sixth led to two unearned runs off Nelson in the Brewers’ fourth loss in five games.

Braun double off Pedro Strop in the eighth got the Brewers within a run. Hill had a chance to bring the Brewers back in the ninth inning, but Hector Rondon got him to fly out for his fourth save.

“He’s been a good guy in these spots lately and almost came up with that one at the end there,” Brewers centerfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis on Hill’s last at-bat. “I think that ball is gone for sure if the wind is not blowing.”

Cubs manager Joe Maddon lifted starter Kyle Hendricks (one run, two hits, 69 pitches) for pinch-hitter Tommy La Stella with runners at second and third and one out in the fifth. La Stella walked, but the Cubs managed only one run on Dexter Fowler’s sacrifice fly to tie it at 1.

Hill’s sacrifice fly in the second provided Milwaukee’s only run for Nelson, who struck out six through four innings before control problems ended his night with one out and two on in the sixth.

The Cubs started a stretch of 16 of 19 at Wrigley Field, and the weather made for a night of small ball for a team that has won nine games by five runs or more.

Braun, booed loudly before pinch-hitting, extended his hitting streak to eight games with a liner to right. He’s 14 for his last 26.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: Braun, who had offseason back surgery, didn’t start as part of manager Craig Counsell’s plan to limit him to 140 games. … 2B Scooter Gennett was a late scratch with right oblique tightness. Yadiel Rivera replaced him in the field and SS Jonathan Villar hit second in Gennett’s place.

Cubs: C Miguel Montero was scratched from the original lineup with a stiff back, but was available if needed, according to Maddon.

ARRIETA HONORED

Cubs ace Jake Arrieta was honored before Chicago’s first home game since his no-hitter last week with a framed jersey and watch. Highlights of the feat at Cincinnati played on the video board and Arrieta, his wife, Brittany, two children and catcher David Ross posed for pictures at home plate.

UP NEXT

Arrieta (4-0, 0.87 ERA) looks to become the second player (Cincinnati’s Johnny Vander Meer 1938) to throw consecutive no-hitters when he opposes fellow righty Taylor Jungmann (0-3, 8.47) in the series’ middle game Wednesday night.

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