Chicago Cubs avert sweep by beating Milwaukee Brewers, 6-4

Brewers catcher Erik Kratz, left, holds onto the ball after tagging out the Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo at home during the fifth inning Wednesday in Milwaukee. (AP photo)

MILWAUKEE — Daniel Murphy sees no panic in his new Chicago Cubs teammates.

The Cubs needed a win Wednesday night to avert a three-game sweep by division rival Milwaukee, and Murphy played a big role with three hits and a solo home run in Chicago’s 6-4 victory against the Brewers.

Pedro Strop closed out a tense ninth inning as Chicago boosted its NL Central lead to four games over the second-place Brewers. Milwaukee is a half-game ahead of St. Louis for the top NL wild card.

Jose Quintana (12-9) gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings, improving to 3-1 at Miller Park with the Cubs.

Strop allowed a walk and a single to open the ninth but got the final three outs, striking out Curtis Granderson with two runners on to preserve the win.

“It’s a young group with a veteran mindset,” said Murphy, who joined the Cubs in a trade with Washington on Aug. 21. “You lose a tough one (Monday) and they played really well yesterday. All you can do is come out and try to win this ballgame.”

Granderson belted his first home run as a member of the Brewers in a pinch-hit role in the seventh, a two-run shot that cut Chicago’s lead to 6-4.

After Travis Shaw walked and pinch-hitter Christian Yelich singled to start the ninth, the crowd of 37,427 was on its feet, nearly equally divided between Brewers and Cubs fans. Eric Thames flied out before Strop got Lorenzo Cain to ground to third for a force play. Then a nasty slider on a 2-2 pitch struck out Granderson.