Posted April 18, 2013 on
AP on Fox
After sweeping the defending champions, the Milwaukee Brewers appear to be playing with some confidence heading into their three-game series against the Chicago Cubs.
With their early struggles behind them, the surging Brewers look for their 16th win in 18 home games against the Cubs and fifth straight victory overall Friday night.
Riding a club-record scoreless streak and three innings shy of falling to 2-9, the Brewers (6-8) seemed to gain some momentum Sunday when they scored four runs over the final three innings in a 4-3, 10-inning victory at St. Louis.
The good vibes from that win carried over into their series against San Francisco as they wrapped up a three-game sweep with a 7-2 victory Thursday.
Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Yovani Gallardo homered, and Gallardo also allowed one earned run over six innings in his first start being arrested on a drunken driving charge.
"Anytime you play that well in a series against a really good ballclub, it should build up a lot of confidence in what we're doing," manager Ron Roenicke told MLB's official website.
Now the Brewers have a chance to keep things rolling against a Chicago team they've dominated at home in recent years. They've won five straight over the Cubs at Miller Park and outscored them 82-56 during a 15-2 run that dates to April 9, 2011.
Milwaukee will send right-hander Marco Estrada to the mound as he looks to win his fourth straight start against the Cubs.
Estrada (1-0, 4.50 ERA) gave up two runs over seven innings in a 7-4 win at Wrigley Field on April 8. He's gone 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA while striking out 27 over 24 innings in four starts against Chicago.
Starlin Castro, though, has done some damage against Estrada, going 5 for 12 with two doubles and a triple. He's also batting .356 (16 for 45) with seven extra-base hits and five RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak.
Catcher Wellington Castillo, who homered off Estrada at Wrigley, may get a chance to build on his career-best 4-for-4 performance in a 6-2 win over Texas on Thursday.
"If he can swing the bat like this all year long we've got something really special because the defense he has behind the plate is one of the best in baseball," manager Dale Sveum said.
Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano hit back-to-back home runs, while Carlos Villanueva allowed two runs over seven innings to help the Cubs snap a three-game losing streak.
Chicago (5-9) turns to right-hander Jeff Samardzija as it begins a 10-game road trip.
After shutting out Pittsburgh over eight innings in an opening-day victory, Samardzija (1-2, 2.75) has allowed six runs in 11 2-3 innings while dropping his last two starts.
He's 0-2 with a 3.18 ERA in three starts against the Brewers.
While Braun has two hits - both homers - in 22 at-bats over his last six games, he's 6 for 13 with a home run versus Samardzija.
Lucroy looks to continue his recent tear, going 7 for 17 with two homers and five RBIs in his last four games. The catcher, however, is 0 for 7 with four strikeouts against Samardzija.
The Brewers totaled 21 runs in the three games versus the Giants after scoring seven over the previous four contests.
BEST OF MAXIM
I wanted to acknowledge Craig Counsell, since he's supposed to be in the FSN broadcast booth, at some point. I drew this in June, but it's got a nifty-looking border that looks sort of like an old portfolio...or some sort of sheet music folder. The picture of the cheese was in the original version, as well. Craig Counsell will be a GM, someday. One who won't spend a significant...
MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Brewers optioned right-hander Mike Fiers to Triple-A Nashville following Thursday's 7-2 victory over San Francisco, opening the door for right-hander Hiram Burgos to come up from Nashville to make his big-league debut in a Saturday start against the Cubs.
Burgos, 25, was Milwaukee's minor league pitcher of the year in 2012, posting a 10-4 record...
MILWAUKEE -- It wasn't Blake Lalli's first Major League hit, but it certainly was his most memorable to date.
Pinch hitting in the ninth inning with the bases loaded with one out in a tie game, Lalli jumped on the first pitch from Giants reliever Santiago Casilla and lofted a fly ball over the head of left fielder Gregor Blanco that easily scored pinch runner Josh Prince...
The Iowa Cubs were rained out.
Tennessee Smokies 5 @ Huntsville Stars 3
Kyle Hendricks got the start and lasted only 2 innings. He gave up 5 hits and 3 runs while walking a batter. He didn’t strike out anybody. The Smokies bullpen would throw the next 9 innings (extra innings game) and they allowed only 2 hits and no runs.
Kevin Rhoderick and Marcus Hatley did walk 5 over 3.2...
Shawon Dunston Jr reached base four times on three singles and a walk, scored twice, and drove-in a run, Yasiel Balaguert singled twice, tripled, and knocked-in four runs, and Jacob Rogers smacked a two-run triple and walked, leading one squad of Cubs to a 7-3 victory over one squad of Diamondbacks on Field #3, and Francisco Sanchez hammered a two-run triple and then scored on...
Associated Press photographer Morry Gash captured one of the best celebratory sports photos of the year Wednesday night.It came immediately following Milwaukee's walk-off victory over San Francisco at Miller Park.Brewers star Ryan Braun attempted to congratulate teammate Carlos Gomez on a job well done by dumping a cooler full of water on him, but as you can see, Gomez wasn...
If you’ve paid attention over the first part of this season, the Cubs’ bullpen has been pretty bad and got even worse when Kyuji Fujikawa got shelled in a couple of appearances and then was put on the disabled list. Today, ESPN Chicago put up a blog suggesting that the Cubs probably should have put Fujikawa on the DL to start the season, but forgot to for whatever reason.
Now that the Cubs have completed 10% of their season (well, they've been rained out twice), I thought it'd be nice to give a review of how the Cubs have done so far this year. This should be a fairly long post and will focus exclusively on the major league roster.
Cubs Actual Record: 5-9
Runs Scored/Allowed: 50/60
PythagenPat Win Percentage: .418
FOX Sports Wisconsin has announced that former Milwaukee Brewers infielder Craig Counsell will make his television debut at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday as part of the network's Brewers Live team.
The 16-year major league veteran and two-time World Series winner is scheduled to appear on a number of upcoming shows for FOX Sports Wisconsin. Counsell, 42, played with the Brewers in 2004...
The additon of Kyle Lohse to the Brewers rotation is already paying diviends.
Lohse went seven innings on Wednesday night allowing three runs as the Brewers topped the Giants. In the outing Lohse allowed six hits and a walk while striking out six.
Lohse was unable to crack into the win column but the Brewers were able to walk off in the ninth after Blake Lalli singled in Josh Prince...
On Tuesday, following his arrest for drunk driving, Yovani Gallardo briefly spoke to the media. He admitted he made a mistake, and that it was something he shouldn’t have done. Gallardo even went so far as to apologize to me – in the sense that he said he was sorry to Brewers fans and everyone else in the city, which obviously includes me.
Rarely used, Blake Lalli quickly showed he was totally prepared.
On the first pitch, the pinch-hitter lifted a long single in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday night that sent the Milwaukee Brewers over the San Francisco Giants 4-3.
''He was in looking at videos, he was looking at the pitcher throw and he knew what he wanted to do with the first pitch,''...
Yovani Gallardo pitched a gem and hit a three run homer as the Brewers continue to roll. Justin Uptonhit his league leading 9th home runGiants 2 v Brewers 7: Yovani Gallardo did it all, hitting a 3 run home run and pitched 6 innings and only surrendered only 1 run, while striking out 6. Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy also hit home runs for the Brewers. Brandon Crawford hit a double...
Alfonso Soriano hit his first home run of the season, Anthony Rizzo also homered and the Chicago Cubs beat the Texas Rangers 6-2 Thursday at a soggy Wrigley Field.
Despite torrential rains that caused citywide floods, the teams were able to play in an occasional drizzle. The Cubs and Texas were rained out Wednesday.
Rizzo hit a two-run homer in the third inning and Soriano followed...