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Cubs set for Wrigley showdown with Brewers
(SportsNetwork.com) - Jeff Samardzija takes another crack at his first win of the season Friday afternoon when the Chicago Cubs open a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field.
Samardzija may be 0-3, but it's certainly through no fault of his own, as the right-hander has allowed no earned runs in three of his eight starts and has surrendered more than two just once when he gave up three in a loss to Cincinnati.
He's the first pitcher since at least 1900 to give up three runs or less in his first eight starts and not get a victory.
The Cubs have scored 15 runs in Samardzija's eight starts, and he has the second-lowest run support average (1.93) in the Major Leagues. On Monday, they scored 17 runs in a win over the Cardinals.
Samardzija scattered two hits and struck out seven over six scoreless innings on Saturday in Atlanta, but did not get a decision in his team's 2-0 loss. He had given up just an unearned run in nine innings in a no-decision against the Chicago White Sox his previous time out.
"I understand the situation, I understand how things go," Samardzija said. "Baseball's a funny sport, so it's just one of those things where you learn from it and it usually comes around in the end and it all evens out.
"So just keep pitching, keep doing your work. You see these guys working hard and doing their job, too. So keep going and it should be great."
Samardzija's last win was Aug. 24 against the Padres. He finished the 2013 season 0-2 in his final six starts.
"The wins thing to me is frustrating, because in general, it's a stat that we've all moved away from," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer told the team's website. "The way he's pitched, I think he's been as good as anyone in the National League. It'll be nice one day if he didn't have his best stuff and people picked him up."
Chicago is off to its worst start since 2002 and has dropped nine of 11 following a loss to St. Louis on Thursday. It won't get any easier for the Cubs on Friday, as they go up against righty Kyle Lohse, who is 4-1 this season with a 2.75 ERA.
Lohse has won four straight decisions, but hasn't received one his last three times out, despite three quality outings. He allowed three runs (2 earned) and eight hits over six innings to the New York Yankees on Saturday, as his team pulled out a 5-4 win.
In 20 starts versus the Cubs Lohse is 5-6 with a 5.15 ERA.
Milwaukee has won four of five after taking two of three from the Pittsburgh Pirates. After their 5-4 homestand the Brewers will now hit the road for 10 games.
Milwaukee is an NL-best 12-5 away from home this season, but has dropped four of five on the road.
Milwaukee took two of three from the Cubs earlier this season.
05/16 10:57:43 ET