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News » Cubs-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-04-28


Cubs-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-04-28


Cubs-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-04-28
After receiving some good news on his team's injury front, Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella hopes to see a positive effort from Carlos Zambrano on the mound.

Coming off a pair of subpar starts, the All-Star looks to get back on track Tuesday night as the Cubs try to bounce back from a series-opening loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

Looking to add some punch to a struggling offense, Chicago (9-9) is expected to have Milton Bradley in the lineup after making just one start since suffering a groin injury April 12.

"I think we'll be able to get him in the lineup (Tuesday)," said Piniella of Bradley, who is 1-for-24 and already showing signs of frustration in his first season in Chicago.

Bradley is a lifetime .295 hitter with four homers and 18 RBIs in 47 games against Arizona.

The Cubs could also have Aramis Ramirez back after he missed the last two games with a sprained left calf he suffered Friday in St. Louis. The third baseman, who worked out Monday, is batting .358 (19-for-53) with three home runs and 14 RBIs.

"If he doesn't have any negative day-after effects, he might be back," Piniella told the Cubs' official Web site.

While first baseman Derrek Lee is likely to miss his second straight game with neck spasms, All-Star reliever Carlos Marmol may also be available after injuring his knee Friday.

That's all positive news for the Cubs, who had just three hits off Dan Haren in a 7-2 loss to Arizona (8-11) on Monday.

Chicago, which got the 52nd leadoff homer from Alfonso Soriano, has lost five of its last six games and scored 10 of its 18 runs during that span in a victory over the Cardinals on Sunday.

The light-hitting Diamondbacks roughed up Ted Lilly and now face Zambrano (1-1, 4.85 ERA), who is 1-2 with a 4.88 ERA in four starts versus Arizona.

The right-hander gave up four runs - three earned - with seven hits and struck out seven in seven innings of a 7-1 loss to Cincinnati on Thursday. It came after Zambrano allowed seven runs in seven innings while not factoring in the decision of an 8-7 win over St. Louis on April 17.

Despite some poor fielding behind him and a throwing error on his behalf, the often emotional Zambrano remained poised and believes he can continue to do the same in the future.

"The most important thing was that I was able to keep my composure," Zambrano said. "That's good when I behave and I'm calm. You have to be out there to pitch your game. That's the control you have."

Chris Snyder homered and Chris Young had two hits with two RBIs on Monday for the Diamondbacks, who will try for their first three-game winning streak of the season.

"Obviously, we'd like to at least triple that," said Arizona manager Bob Melvin, whose team entered the series with a major league-worst .225 batting average and .298 on-base percentage.

Young is 6-for-13 in his last three games against the Cubs.

Arizona's Yusmeiro Petit (0-1, 6.00) makes his third start while replacing injured ace Brandon Webb.

Petit allowed two earned runs and eight hits in five innings but didn't factor in the decision of a 9-6 loss to Colorado last Tuesday.

Though the right-hander has not gone more than five innings in either of his starts, he is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three against Chicago.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 28, 2009

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