National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, June 6th
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (19-36) at Milwaukee Brewers (24-31), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Paul Maholm (4-4, 4.82)
Milwaukee - Zack Greinke (6-2, 3.46)
(Sports Network) - Jonathan Lucroy helped keep Zack Greinke unbeaten during
his career at Miller Park in late May. Greinke can't rely on an offensive
explosion every time out and will get the call tonight in the second test of a
three-game series versus the Chicago Cubs.
Lucroy belted a pair of homers and finished with three runs scored and seven
RBI in a 16-4 pounding of Minnesota in Brew City on May 20. Greinke tossed 6
2/3 innings of one-run ball in that one, improving to 14-0 in 21 career
appearances (20 starts) with a 2.60 earned run average at Miller Park. Greinke
then lost his next start on May 26 in an 8-5 setback at Arizona, but rebounded
in last Thursday's 6-2 triumph in Los Angeles.
Greinke held the Dodgers to a run on nine hits and struck out seven batters in
six innings of work, improving to 6-2 in 11 starts and lowering his ERA to
3.46. The right-hander and 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner is 5-1 in his last
six decisions and will be eyeing revenge on the Cubs, who defeated him back on
April 12 in his season debut. Greinke was reached for eight runs and nine hits
in only 3 2/3 frames to fall to 2-2 in four career starts in this series.
The Brewers hope Greinke can get some run support tonight after they were
embarrassed, 10-0, in last night's series opener. Yovani Gallardo was hammered
for five runs and six hits, including two homers, over six innings. He struck
out 10 batters and walked only one, but it wasn't enough to lift Milwaukee,
which has dropped two straight and three of four since winning four in a row.
"The numbers don't really match out, (Gallardo) really threw the ball well. He
had great stuff," Brewers manager Rob Roenicke said. "(Cubs starter Ryan)
Dempster was good, he only have up three hits. He's got a two-something ERA
which means you're pretty good."
Cody Ransom had two of the Brewers' five hits, while Ryan Braun and Carlos
Gomez each had a hit in defeat. Brewers third baseman and former Cub Aramis
Ramirez was held out of the lineup for the second straight night Tuesday with
a strained left quadriceps. He is day-to-day. Milwaukee fell to 1-3 on a nine-
game homestand and will also entertain San Diego in Brew City.
The Cubs broke out the bats on Tuesday and were able to stop an 11-game road
losing streak -- the worst since the 1954 campaign.
Alfonso Soriano, Bryan LaHair and Jeff Baker each homered, while Dempster
collected his first win of the season. Dempster took a perfect game into the
sixth inning and eventually allowed three hits over seven shutout innings. He
struck out three and walked zero batters to end an 18-start winless streak.
"(Dempster) did a great job obviously with five perfect innings," Cubs manager
Dale Sveum said. "To finally get off that schneid was nice, he's pitched
pretty well all year. For some reason at Miller Park against the Brewers he
does the job."
Chicago had dropped four in a row overall until last night's win and is 4-4
since a season-high 12-game losing streak. It is also 1-4 on a 10-game road
trip and will also make a stop in Minnesota.
The Cubs have lost each of Paul Maholm's last four starts and will send the
left-hander back to the hill on Wednesday. Maholm is 0-2 in his past four
outings and was beaten by San Francisco by the bay on Friday, when he gave up
four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. The loss dropped Maholm to 4-4 in
10 starts this season and raised his earned run average to 4.82.
Maholm has allowed 15 runs over his last four starts and lost to Milwaukee in
his 2012 debut on April 10. In the 7-4 loss at Wrigley Field, Maholm yielded
six runs and six hits, including two home runs, in four innings. He is 3-9
with a 4.74 ERA in 20 career starts against the Brewers, and 2-4 in 11 career
starts at Miller Park.
Chicago has still lost five of eight meetings with Milwaukee this season and
12 of the past 17 matchups between the NL Central foes.
06/06 10:46:15 ET