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Hammel, Cubs try to salvage finale with Brewers
(SportsNetwork.com) - Jason Hammel appears to have found the formula for success in the major leagues and it has proved to be a simple one.
The Chicago Cubs righty aims to extend his strong start to the campaign on Sunday afternoon in the final contest of a three-game set against the hosting Milwaukee Brewers.
Hammel, in his first season with the Cubs, is 3-1 through four starts with a 2.60 earned run average. He bounced back from his first setback with a 9-2 win over Arizona on Tuesday, charged with a run on four hits over seven innings without issuing a walk.
On the season, the 31-year-old has issued 14 hits and five walks over 27 2/3 innings for a WHIP of 0.69.
"It's simple math, if you don't let anybody on base you don't have to worry about giving up runs," Hammel said.
He has done a good job of that when facing the Brewers, having gone 3-0 against them in four previous starts with a 2.88 ERA.
Milwaukee counters with the streaking Wily Peralta, who has won three consecutive starts since opening the season with a no-decision at Boston on April 5.
The 24-year-old righty has allowed four earned runs over his win streak, two of those over 6 1/3 innings of Monday's 4-3 triumph over San Diego. Peralta also was charged with an unearned run while striking out six, lowering his ERA to 2.19.
Peralta has split four previous decisions against the Cubs over five starts while notching a 3.07 ERA.
Peralta will hope to avoid some of the bad luck that plagued the Brewers in Saturday's 5-3 victory. While Milwaukee won its third straight game, it lost both Jean Segura and Ryan Braun to injury.
Segura was the victim of a freak accident when he was hit in the head by the bat of Braun while he was stretching prior to the bottom of the first inning. Braun appeared to not see Segura walking behind him and the shortstop was struck in the face before getting helped down the tunnel of the clubhouse.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke confirmed there was no concussion and no fractures for Segura, who had a gash near his eyes that needed stitches.
"You never want to see something like that," Braun said of Segura's injury. "It breaks your heart a little bit. It's never something that's done intentionally. Whenever you're involved in a situation like that I think it puts life in perspective and you realize how insignificant baseball is. Thank God, from everything we've heard, he's okay."
Segura likely won't need to go on the disabled list, but may not play today. That's the same case for Braun, who ended up exiting late in the game due to a right intercostal strain that has him day-to-day.
Jeff Bianchi, who came in to replace Segura, had two hits, including a two-run single, while Marco Estrada pitched into the eighth inning to help Milwaukee win for the seventh time in eight games.
Luis Valbuena and Welington Castillo homered for the Cubs, who lost their fourth straight game. Travis Wood surrendered seven hits and five runs over 5 2/3 innings.
"The ball was up a little bit today," Wood admitted. "I struggled getting it down."
Saturday's loss assured the Cubs that they will fail to win a series for the 13th straight time. They have not won a series since Sept. 9-11 of last season when they took two of three from Cincinnati.
Milwaukee went 13-6 against Chicago last season.
04/27 09:06:02 ET