National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, April 19th
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (5-9) at Milwaukee Brewers (6-8), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Jeff Samardzija (1-2, 2.75)
Milwaukee - Marco Estrada (1-0, 4.50)
(Sports Network) - Right-hander Jeff Samardzija tries to snap a two-start skid
on Friday night when the Chicago Cubs visit Miller Park to open a three-game
weekend series with the host Milwaukee Brewers.
The former Notre Dame football standout opened the 2013 campaign with a 3-1
decision at Pittsburgh, then dropped consecutive starts at Atlanta and home
with San Francisco while allowing six runs on 11 hits in 11 2/3 innings.
Samardzija, who began his career with just five starts in his initial 128
appearances, transitioned to starting in 2012 and won a career-high nine games
in 28 starts while posting a 3.81 earned run average.
He's compiled a 2.75 ERA through 19 2/3 innings this season while allowing a
stingy .183 opposition batting average.
Samardzija is 2-3 in 17 appearances against Milwaukee and has a 4.24 ERA in 17
innings at Miller Park.
The Brewers counter with righty Marco Estrada, who makes a second attempt at
an 11th career victory.
The Mexican-born hurler won four games in 2011 and five last season, then
picked up win No. 10 in April 8 this season when he downed the Cubs, 7-4,
while allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings.
In one start since, a 4-3 Brewers win, he gave up three runs on seven hits in
Estrada is 3-0 in nine career meetings with the Cubs.
On Thursday in Chicago, Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer and the Cubs
defeated the Texas Rangers, 6-2, in an interleague matchup.
Alfonso Soriano added a solo shot while Luis Valbuena drove in two runs and
had a stolen base for the Cubs, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Starter Carlos Villanueva (1-0) fanned six and allowed two runs on four hits
and a walk over seven innings.
"I found some things today and just got to build off the momentum here," said
Rizzo. "It's big that Soriano hit as well, got his monkey off that shoulder,
home run and an RBI. If this team is going to go, we have to take it. Soriano
and I, we know we have to hit and we just want to keep building."
Meanwhile in Milwaukee, Yovani Gallardo tossed six innings of one-run baseball
and hit a two-run homer, as the Brewers beat the San Francisco Giants, 7-2, to
complete a three-game sweep.
Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy also smacked two-run homers for the Brewers,
who recorded their first sweep of the Giants since July 18-20, 2008. Yuniesky
Betancourt added an RBI.
Gallardo (1-1), who was arrested for drunk driving early Tuesday morning, gave
up five hits while striking out six.
"He had something to prove," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Gallardo.
"He wasn't happy with what happened a few days ago. He wanted to do whatever
he could to pitch well."
The teams split two games on April 8-9 in Chicago. Milwaukee won 13 of 17
games between the teams last season.
04/19 10:22:26 ET