They’ll try to continue winning and hitting Tuesday night against the host Milwaukee Brewers.
After scoring three runs in the 11th inning at St. Louis on Sunday night, the Cubs (77-72) put up seven in the first two innings of Monday night’s 10-2 victory over the Brewers.
Chicago reached double digits for the fourth time since July 31, and the 14 hits matched its best output since a season-high 18 against Pittsburgh on Aug. 14. Before their consecutive wins, the Cubs were outscored 21-12 during a four-game slide, and they’ve batted .256 this season - 22 points lower than in last year’s 97-win campaign.
In snapping Milwaukee’s five-game win streak, Derrek Lee(notes) led the way by hitting his 34th home run and driving in four runs. Since July 1, Lee has a major league-best 23 homers and 68 RBIs, and he’s batting .388 over his last 23 games.
The Cubs sent Bradley home before Sunday’s game after a number of incidents, namely his comments about the team and its fans to a suburban newspaper. General manager Jim Hendry said he didn’t know if the relationship was “fixable” between the team and the outfielder, who signed a three-year deal worth $30 million in January.
Bradley made more news with his words than his bat after hitting .257 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs in 124 games.
“We’re moving on,” manager Lou Piniella said. “I fully support Jim’s actions and now it’s time to look to the present and look ahead, not behind. Our (goal is) to finish up as strong as we can for the next 14 games, play some kids and take a look at them, and win as many games as we can. That’s all that we can do.”
The Cubs are trying to record three straight winning seasons - all under Piniella - for the first time since a six-year run from 1967-72. The Brewers (74-76) are chasing the same milestone, which they haven’t accomplished since 1978-83.
The Cubs scoring 3.2 runs per game hasn’t helped Wells during his 1-4 stretch, but he also gave up five runs and walked a season-high five over four innings in Thursday’s 7-4 home defeat to Milwaukee.
“I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but you can’t win ball games when you’re doing stuff like that,” he said. “It’s just pitiful. That’s not going to cut it. It’s time to rethink some things.”
Neither pitcher got the decision in Milwaukee’s 3-2 home victory May 8, but Bush earned the victory in Thursday’s matchup for his second win in as many starts. The right-hander has a 3.55 ERA in those outings, and his teammates have backed him with 14 runs.
Bush’s win last week also ended a personal five-game losing streak to the Cubs dating back to Aug. 6, 2007.