Milwaukee (43-38) at Chicago (39-39)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Chicago, IL
Temp: 37° F
  • Game info: 2:20 pm EDT Sun Jul 5, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Chicago Cubs knew it would be tough to completely contain the Milwaukee Brewers’ powerful lineup during this four-game series between the NL Central rivals.

After snapping a three-game losing streak with a big offensive effort in their last contest, the Brewers look to earn a split when the set concludes Sunday at Wrigley Field.

Milwaukee (43-38) scored five times in the first inning and cruised to an 11-2 victory Saturday after scoring six runs in its previous three games.

“They’ve got a dynamic offense,” Cubs right fielder Milton Bradley(notes) told the Brewers’ official Web site. “You can hold them down for a little while but eventually they’ll break through.”

Former Cubs prospect Casey McGehee(notes) had a career-high four hits with five RBIs, while Mike Cameron(notes) homered and drove in four. Ryan Braun added two hits to extend his hitting streak to 11 games for Milwaukee, which is among the NL leaders with 385 runs but was shut out twice in its previous six games.

“If we’re able to punch across runs and continue the progress of the lineup, it makes us that more deep and dangerous,” said Cameron, who’s 5 for 12 with two homers and six RBIs in the series.

McGehee, acquired off waivers by Milwaukee after playing nine games for the Cubs last season, is batting .331 with six homers and 26 RBIs while splitting time between second and third base.

“I’m still trying to make my way with this organization and this club, be able to contribute and help these guys win,” said McGehee, who’s 7 for 16 (.438) in four games versus his former team.

After roughing up Rich Harden(notes) on Saturday, the Brewers face Ted Lilly(notes) (7-6, 3.35 ERA) for the first time in 2009.

Braun, batting .383 (18 for 47) during his hitting streak, is 6 for 13 with two homers against Lilly, who’s 2-2 with a 4.81 ERA in six starts versus the Brewers.

Lilly has lost his last two starts—both on the road—but he’s 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA in seven outings at Wrigley. The left-hander allowed two earned runs and eight hits while striking out seven in seven innings of a 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Milwaukee counters with journeyman Mike Burns(notes) (1-1, 3.31), who’s coming off the first win of his career. In his second major league start, Burns allowed a two-run homer in the first inning and five hits over 6 2-3 of a 6-3 victory over the New York Mets on Tuesday.

“It’s important to have guys be able to step up and throw the ball well, like he has for us,” Braun said of Burns, who was called up from the minors to help a rotation that’s without the injured Dave Bush(notes) and demoted Manny Parra(notes).

Burns, who has never started versus the Cubs, has a 1.80 ERA in four appearances against them. He’ll face a lineup that won’t have Alfonso Soriano(notes) leading off for the second straight game.

Batting .223, Soriano went 0 for 4 from the sixth spot Saturday and is hitless in his last 16 at-bats.

“I think you’ve got to give it more than one day to see how things work or don’t work,” manager Lou Piniella said of batting Soriano lower in the order. “I know you people want quick results, but that’s too quick.”

Bradley hit a two-run homer Saturday for Chicago (39-39), which had won three in a row overall and six straight at home.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Burns MIL vs. T. Lilly LAD
3-5 Record 12-9
5.75 ERA 3.10
39 K 151
17 BB 36
1.49 WHIP 1.06


Sunday, Jul 5