Chicago (18-15) at Los Angeles (22-10)

  • Game info: 3:10 pm EDT Thu May 13, 2004
  • TV: WGN, FSN2
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Carlos Zambrano will look to extend his scoreless streak as the Chicago Cubs try to avoid suffering a three-game sweep to the major league-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

Zambrano, tops among Cubs starters with a 2.18 ERA, hasn’t given up a run in his last two starts, allowing five hits and striking out 17 over 16 innings. The right-hander threw a career-best two-hitter in an 11-0 win over the Colorado Rockies on Friday at Wrigley Field.

Zambrano, who allowed just four baserunners and threw only 97 pitches, retired the first 14 batters and didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning.

But the soon-to-be-23-year-old said he wasn’t thinking about a possible no-hitter.

“I like to be focused on what I’m doing,” he said.

The 11-run outburst was a treat for Zambrano as the Cubs had not scored in either of his previous two starts.

“When Zambrano gets that kind of support, he’s exceptionally tough,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.

“He was masterful today. He had no-hit stuff.”

The Cubs haven’t been swept at Dodger Stadium since April 24-26, 1998, but are on the verge after losing 7-3 on Tuesday and 4-0 Wednesday.

Sammy Sosa had one of Chicago’s five hits Wednesday, giving him 12 in his last 34 at-bats (.353).

The Cubs, who faced left-hander Wilson Alvarez Wednesday, have hit just two of their 47 homers off lefties this year.

They’ll face right-hander Hideo Nomo on Thursday. Nomo is 0-2 in his last three starts, and 5-5 with a 5.01 ERA in his career against Chicago.

Los Angeles has won a season-high six in a row, and is enjoying its best start since the 1983 team began 23-9.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Zambrano PHI vs. H. Nomo KC
16-8 Record 4-11
2.75 ERA 8.25
188 K 54
81 BB 42
1.22 WHIP 1.75