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News » Cubs-Brewers Preview 2009-05-08

Cubs-Brewers Preview 2009-05-08

Cubs-Brewers Preview 2009-05-08
Randy Wells isn't going to make anyone forget Carlos Zambrano, but he'll try to be an effective replacement for the staff ace of the Chicago Cubs on Friday night when he makes his first major league start in the opener of a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.

The Cubs placed Zambrano on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a strained hamstring suffered trying to beat out a bunt and have turned to Wells, whose major league career has consisted of 5 1-3 scoreless innings spanning four relief appearances last year. Three of those games came with the Cubs (16-12), with one outing a solid stint of 2 1-3 innings versus the Brewers on Sept. 18.

The right-hander had pitched well for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs before his call-up, going 3-0 with a 2.77 ERA in five starts and 21 strikeouts in 26 innings.

The Cubs are coming off an 8-5 victory over Houston, their sixth win in seven games. Alfonso Soriano picked up the offensive slack for injured first baseman Derrek Lee, hitting two home runs, while Mike Fontenot added two RBIs to help Chicago complete a two-game sweep of its NL Central rivals.

"Our team is getting together now," Soriano said. "We're feeling more like a team. We're pitching better and hitting at the same time."

Soriano, who homered for the first time in eight games, has hit safely in five straight contests. He has hit scheduled Brewers starter Dave Bush well, going 9 for 28 with three doubles and a homer. Lee, sidelined the last two games with recurring stiffness in his neck, is day-to-day but batting only .148 (4 for 27) lifetime versus the right-hander.

Bush (1-0, 4.36) will try to regroup after one bad inning cost him a potential victory in his last start. On Sunday, he had shut down the Diamondbacks on two hits over six innings but served up three homers in the seventh and left without a decision in Milwaukee's 4-3 victory.

"It's always more frustrating when the runs come at the end of the outing," Bush told the Brewers' official Web site. "If it happened in the first inning and you end up going seven with three runs, you're probably pleased with it. I was happy with how I threw the ball, just very, very disappointed with the way that last inning went."

Bush also did not get a decision against the Cubs on April 11 after giving up three runs in 6 1-3 innings of Milwaukee's 6-5 loss. He has lost five straight decisions to Chicago since his lone victory Aug. 9, 2006, and is 1-7 in 12 starts and 13 lifetime appearances.

The Brewers (16-13) were thwarted in their bid for a season-high fifth straight victory, losing 6-5 Wednesday at Cincinnati. Despite the defeat, Brewers manager Ken Macha is optimistic his team will bounce back against its archrival.

"We're playing great," he said. "All kinds of things happened in that game, so you probably could sit in here and talk about this game for an hour about all the little things here or there that could have made a difference in the game."

Left fielder Ryan Braun went 5-for-10 with four runs, a homer and six RBIs in the two games at Cincinnati, and the third-year pro is hitting .307 with 23 RBIs in 28 lifetime games versus the Cubs. Braun, though, did go 1-for-12 earlier this season when Milwaukee dropped two of three to Chicago April 10-12.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 8, 2009

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