The Cubs will attempt to win their fourth straight since suspending their beleaguered outfielder and continue their hot hitting Wednesday night against the host Milwaukee Brewers.
After scoring seven runs in the first two innings of Monday night’s 10-2 win at Miller Park, Chicago plated six in the first two innings of Tuesday night’s 7-2 victory, which eliminated the Brewers from playoff contention.
Derrek Lee(notes) had three hits and homered for the second straight game for the Cubs (78-72), who have scored at least six runs in each of their three wins after reaching that mark only once during a 3-6 stretch.
“You’re playing a baseball game and you’re not worried about anything else,” Lee said.
The Cubs suspended Bradley for the season before Sunday’s game in St. Louis after his disparaging comments about the team and its fans to a suburban newspaper.
Bradley, who signed a three-year, $30 million deal prior to the season, was largely disappointing in hitting .257 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs in 124 games.
Lee, meanwhile, has experienced a resurgence this year in batting .310 with 35 home runs and a career-best 109 RBIs. He has a major league-leading 24 homers with 70 RBIs since July 1.
The first baseman, who is 6 for 8 with six RBIs in the series, is also batting .408 this month, and he’ll try to keep the Cubs’ bats going as Jeff Samardzija(notes) (1-2, 7.89 ERA) makes his second career start.
Even the support of Chicago’s hot hitters won’t be enough if Samardzija repeats his previous start. The 24-year-old right-hander was tagged for seven runs and eight hits over 3 1-3 innings in a 12-5 home loss to Philadelphia on Aug. 12.
Samardzija has struggled in five career relief appearances against Milwaukee with a 7.11 ERA in 6 1-3 innings.
The Brewers (74-77) will send out another inexperienced pitcher in left-hander Chris Narveson(notes) (1-0, 4.22), who is expected to make his fourth career start and third since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Nashville on Aug. 21. He moved into the rotation after Manny Parra(notes) suffered a stiff neck Sept. 8.
He allowed one run and four hits over five innings in Friday night’s 3-2 win over visiting Houston. While he didn’t get a decision, Narveson lowered his ERA as a starter to 3.75.
“I’m just trying to get my feet wet, trying to figure out what I can do at this level and how to get these hitters out,” Narveson, who has never won as a starter, told Milwaukee’s official Web site.
He allowed one run over three innings against Chicago this season.
The Brewers, who had won five straight heading into the three-game series, have 22 hits in the two losses but are 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position. All-Star first baseman Prince Fielder(notes), however, has two homers in his last three games and has driven in three runs in the past four contests for a franchise-record 129 RBIs.
Entering the final meeting with the Brewers, the Cubs lead the season series 10-6 and are chasing their first sweep since July 28-31, 2008, at Miller Park.