Cubs offense breaks out in 10th inning, Ben Brown tosses seven hitless innings, to beat Brewers 6-3

MILWAUKEE — The contact made a sickening ‘‘thwack’’ as it hit Brewers reliever Trevor Megill’s throwing arm, a sound that could be heard from the stands.

Cubs oufielder Mike Tauchman had hit a line drive to the mound to lead off the 10th inning Tuesday, with Luis Vazquez on second base as the automatic runner. Megill, clearly hurt, dropped his glove and jogged toward the baseline as the ball sat in front of the mound.

‘‘I was just aggressive,’’ Vazquez said through an interpreter. ‘‘I didn’t stop, and I just made sure that I was safe.’’

His eyes trained on the ball, Vazquez sprinted home to give the Cubs the lead and kick off a five-run rally.

‘‘Just good court awareness, so to speak,’’ manager Craig Counsell said after the Cubs’ 6-3 victory against the Brewers. ‘‘And that made a difference. You’ve got a run on the board after one hitter.’’

For a while, the Cubs seemed to be falling back into a concerning pattern. As they’ve struggled this month, there have been plenty of games in which their starting pitcher has kept them in the game but their offense failed to deliver. On Tuesday, the offense flipped the narrative in the 10th.

Rookie right-hander Ben Brown held the Brewers hitless for seven innings and struck out 10. It was the deepest he had gone into a game and the first time he reached double figures in strikeouts.

‘‘It was like an angry fastball,’’ Counsell said. ‘‘It was just really good. It was overpowering for much of the game.’’

The closest the Brewers came to getting a hit against Brown came with one out in the seventh. Willy Adames hit a long fly ball, but center fielder Cody Bellinger robbed him of a home run.

Brown applauded Bellinger from the mound, then notched his 10th strikeout to put a bow on his start.

‘‘I think that did a good job of limiting uncompetitive misses [with my pitches],’’ Brown said, his 10th-strikeout ball in his back pocket. ‘‘Not particularly in the fifth inning, but in all the other innings I think I did a really good job of limiting those misses that just take guys out of the count. So that was cool to see that.’’

The Cubs gave Brown a one-run lead on a solo homer by Michael Busch in the third.

They didn’t score again until the 10th, when Tauchman drove in Vazquez. Then Seiya Suzuki and Bellinger had back-to back singles, Nick Madrigal put down a sacrifice bunt and Ian Happ hit a two-run double to give the Cubs a 5-1 lead.

Entering Tuesday, the Cubs were hitting an MLB-worst .189 with runners in scoring position in May. That was quite the contrast to April, when they hit .269 with runners in scoring position, good for ninth in MLB.

Sometimes it’s hard to know what will ignite a rally, just like it’s hard to know what can get a team out of an offensive rut.

‘‘Hopefully soon, we’ll start turning it around,’’ president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said before the game. ‘‘Maybe it’s a big game, maybe it’s a few balls falling in, whatever it is to have it click. And then I think we’ll start scoring runs again.’’

Maybe this game will do it, or maybe the Cubs will keep looking for answers.

‘‘I think one of the hardest aspects of all of these jobs is [that] you want to be patient with guys with track records, and you know that you’re going to have these struggles during certain times,’’ Hoyer said ‘‘But you can take that patience too far. At some point, you have to have a sense of urgency, and trying to figure out when that timing is, is really difficult.’’

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