The Chicago Cubs will try for their first three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium in a decade.
Chicago may be hard-pressed to accomplish that feat as John Koronka makes his major league debut.
Koronka will be recalled from Triple-A Iowa prior to the game. The 24-year-old left-hander is 3-5 with a 5.05 ERA in nine appearances with Iowa.
“He’s the best candidate to take us deep in a game and he’s throwing the ball pretty good,” Chicago manager Dusty Baker said. “We’re in (a stretch of 20 consecutive games), and I didn’t want to tear up my bullpen.”
Koronka was acquired from Cincinnati on Aug. 23, 2003 in exchange for left-hander Phil Norton. He was a 12th-round draft pick by the Reds in 1998.
Chicago has won a season-high five straight after a 2-1 win in 10 innings on Tuesday. Carlos Zambrano and a pair of relievers combined on a one-hitter and Neifi Perez had a go-ahead RBI single in the 10th.
Derrek Lee had three hits to raise his National League-leading batting average to .363. Lee, who is in position to win the Triple Crown two months through the season. had been just 3-for-28 over his seven previous games against the Dodgers.
“It’s good to do good yourself, but it’s all about winning,” Lee said. “It’s only fun when you’re winning. We’re playing good baseball right now, so we want to continue like this. The fun part is getting to the playoffs—that’s when it’s really fun.”
The Cubs have moved two games over .500 at 26-24 for the first time since being 12-10 after a win over Houston on April 29.
Chicago is seeking its first three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium since May 19-21, 1995. Los Angeles has lost 10 of its last 14 home games and dropped its fifth straight series at home with Tuesday’s loss.
The Dodgers learned that center fielder Milton Bradley has a slight ligament tear in his right finger—an injury suffered on Sunday at Arizona. Bradley, who has a team-high 10 homers, will be out until Friday.
“They will put him in a brace over the next three days,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “Beyond that, we’ll find out if he can swing a bat and go on from there.”