video thumbnail

HOU@MIL: Wolf on picking up first win of the season

Dale Sveum has already faced off against his former team this season, but a trip back to Miller Park should provide another wave of nostalgia for the Chicago skipper.

Sveum and the Cubs travel to Milwaukee this weekend to take on their National League Central rivals in a three-game set beginning Friday night at Miller Park.

The Brewers are coming off a series loss to the Reds, and the Cubs are coming off a series victory over the Braves. Both clubs are off on Thursday.

Sveum, who played for the Brewers from 1986-91 and was on Milwaukee's coaching staff for six years, should feel right at home this weekend, but he's downplaying that storyline.

"It's like when they came here, it's just another series," Sveum said on Wednesday. "Yeah, I have a lot of memories there and a lot of friends, but when the games start, you don't think about anything like that. You just think about winning the game and managing the baseball game. Obviously, I know them very well, but you're just managing a game. It's no different."

Milwaukee took three of four in the series at Wrigley Field earlier this season.

Milwaukee left-hander Randy Wolf didn't have a chance to throw in that series, so he gets his first opportunity on Friday to improve on a 6-11 career mark against Chicago. He has a respectable 4.22 ERA in 23 starts, including two shutouts.

Wolf will take on Chicago's Matt Garza, who is expected to return to the rotation after being skipped because of the flu. In his last game, on April 29 against the Phillies, the right-hander gave up one hit over seven shutout innings and struck out 10.

"We just have to play a little better," Milwaukee's Ryan Braun said. "We have to take advantage of the opportunities we do get. When you face a good pitcher like Johnny Cueto [Milwaukee's opponent on Wednesday], you know you're not going to get too many opportunities to score runs, and when you do get chances, you have to score. Now you face the Cubs and you've got a guy like Garza Friday night, who is one of the top starters in baseball. Same thing. You're not going to get too many chances, and when you do get chances, you have to find a way to score runs."

Cubs: Soriano out on Wednesday but should be ready
Alfonso Soriano was out of the lineup on Wednesday against the Braves, but mostly as a precaution. The team wants him healthy for the series against the Brewers, and he is expected to return.

• Cubs pitchers have a 2.50 ERA in the club's last 17 games, dating back to April 21. In that stretch, the rotation has a 2.51 ERA. The Cubs are 10-7 in those games.

Brewers: Braun stays in the lineup
After aggravating his right Achilles chasing a hit in the eighth inning on Tuesday night, Braun was back in the lineup on Wednesday, going 2-for-4 with a homer in Milwaukee's 2-1 loss.

Braun has been receiving treatment since sustaining the injury on May 1 and sat out on May 2, but he has been playing since then.

• Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is batting .321 this season, and he entered Wednesday with the second-best batting average in the NL from that position.

Worth noting
• The Cubs have homered in eight of their last 14 games (13 homers total).

• Brewers closer John Axford's current save streak is at 49, the fourth longest in Major League history. He needs two to tie Jose Valverde.

MLB.com Comments