Carlos Zambrano was named to his first All-Star team on Sunday.
The 23-year-old right-hander has been the Cubs’ most consistent starter this season. He has won five of his past six decisions, going 5-1 with a 2.66 ERA in seven starts since May 30.
Zambrano allowed just two unearned runs and two hits over 6 1-3 innings Friday in a 6-2 win over the Chicago White Sox. He was forced to leave the game with painful cramps in both of his forearms.
“Not only was it in my right arm, but it was in my left arm after the game and in my ribs. I had a cramp. That is a signal I wasn’t drinking enough water,” Zambrano said.
Zambrano will try to help the Cubs avoid their first sweep in a three-game series this season. They were swept in a two-game set by Houston from May 25-26.
With Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Brewers, the Cubs fell five games behind the first-place St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.
Milwaukee’s Keith Ginter hit a two-run homer, and Victor Santos outpitched Mark Prior to help the Brewers reach the 81-game mark at five games above .500. It’s the first time they’ve had a winning record at the halfway point since 1998.
“It’s a positive sign and you hope you can build on that,” general manager Doug Melvin said of the Brewers, who are trying to end a skid of 11 straight losing seasons. “You never know what can happen with injuries and all, but our goal was a .500 season. I would like to think we’ve raised the bar to be better.”
Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said the milestone showed the Brewers were making progress.
“It’s nice, but we’ve got a long way to go and we want to be like that at the end of the year,” Yost said. “We’re on the right track.”
Milwaukee had lost four straight coming into this series.