Chicago (25-25) at Atlanta (26-25)

Light Rain Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 66° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Wed Jun 3, 2009
  • TV: CSN, PTV
Preview | Box Score | Recap

As the Atlanta Braves continue to play well at home, the Chicago Cubs are still struggling to win on the road.

After rallying to win the series opener, the Braves look for a fifth straight home victory while trying to extend the Cubs’ season-high road losing streak to eight games Wednesday night.

Chipper Jones(notes) singled home the winning run in the 12th inning after Jeff Francoeur(notes) hit a game-tying two-run homer in the ninth as Atlanta (26-25) overcame a five-run deficit to win 6-5 on Tuesday.

Coming off a 2-5 road trip, the Braves improved to 12-12 at Turner Field, where they’ve won six of the last seven.

“These are character-builders,” Jones said. “We were dead in the water.”

Chicago (25-25), meanwhile, has not won on the road since beating Milwaukee 4-2 on May 10. The Cubs, who have lost nine of 10 away from Wrigley Field, are mired in their worst road stretch since dropping nine straight from Aug. 25-Sept. 10, 2006.

“With a five-run lead in the eighth inning, it shouldn’t get away,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “We gave that one to them, with a nice little ribbon.”

Making matters worse, the Cubs could be without right fielder Milton Bradley(notes) after he left Tuesday’s game with a strained right calf. Bradley, who’s hitting a disappointing .220, was bothered by a groin injury in April.

Jones had two hits and broke up rookie Randy Wells’(notes) no-hitter in the seventh. Francoeur, who’s batting .250, homered with two outs in the ninth off closer Kevin Gregg(notes) as Atlanta scored five times over the eighth and ninth innings.

Jones, bothered by a sore toe, is batting .319, and 5 for 9 with five RBIs in his last two games.

After going without a homer in his first 31 games with Atlanta, Garrett Anderson hit his second in as many games and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He has hit safely in 17 of his last 18 games, raising his average 100 points to .263.

Alfonso Soriano(notes) led off the game with a home run while Derrek Lee(notes) homered and had two RBIs for the Cubs, who have lost two in a row coming off a 4-3 homestand.

Soriano is batting .346 with 16 homers and 35 RBIs in 37 games against Atlanta. Three of his 13 hits against scheduled starter Derek Lowe(notes) (6-3, 3.49 ERA) have left the park.

Lowe is 2-1 with a 3.25 ERA in eight starts against the Cubs. His most recent, though, came in the 2008 postseason when he allowed two runs and struck out six in six innings to help the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 7-2 win in Game 1 of the NL division series at Wrigley.

Though the right-hander has yielded seven earned runs in 22 1-3 innings over his last three starts, he’s 1-2 during that span since the Braves have managed seven total runs.

Lowe allowed five runs—three earned—and a season-high 10 hits in seven innings of a 5-2 loss at Arizona on Thursday.

“That was pretty much a grind from the first pitch all the way through,” Lowe said.

Chicago counters with Ted Lilly(notes) (6-4, 3.50), who allowed one run and four hits while striking out five in seven innings of a 2-1 win over the Dodgers on Friday.

“I’ve got a lot of work left to do,” said Lilly, who allowed eight runs in losing his previous two starts. “I’m happy with the way I threw the ball.”

The left-hander is 3-2 with a 5.75 ERA in seven starts against Atlanta.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Lilly LAD vs. D. Lowe Tex
12-9 Record 15-10
3.10 ERA 4.67
151 K 111
36 BB 63
1.06 WHIP 1.52


Wednesday, Jun 3