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COL@MIL: Estrada whiffs nine over five innings

To get out of Milwaukee and avoid being swept by the Brewers, the Cubs will have to do something on Sunday that they have not done since April of last year: Win a game at Miller Park.

With an 8-2 victory on Saturday, the Brewers extended their home winning streak against their National League Central rivals to 10 games. Chicago has not win in Milwaukee since April 8, 2011.

The next opportunity for the Cubs to buck that trend comes Sunday at 2:10 p.m. ET. Milwaukee has won five of six between the two clubs overall this year, after winning 10 of 16 last season.

Jeff Samardzija, one of the hottest starters in the NL, will try his luck against the Brewers on Sunday after having allowed just two earned runs over 21 1/3 innings in his last three starts.

The right-hander, who owns a 4-1 mark with a 3.03 ERA overall, has struck out 23 and walked six in that span.

"Samardzija was really, really good," Atlanta's Chipper Jones said after the Cubs hurler beat the Braves this week. "I had only faced him out of the bullpen, but he's got some staying power. Two heaters -- a two-seamer and a four-seamer. He cuts it sometimes. Command has always been kind of shaky for him. It looks like he's got the command thing down, or at least he did tonight. He was really tough."

Samardzija will go toe-to-toe with Milwaukee right-hander Marco Estrada, who had his last start spoiled by one bad inning on Monday against the Reds. In that start, he surrendered five consecutive hits and five runs to open the fourth inning, while holding Cincinnati to just three hits in the other six scoreless innings of work.

"I don't know why we're having those tough innings," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "It's hard to explain when those innings happen. We didn't have those blowup innings last year. This same crew, they did not have bad innings. Their bad innings maybe were two runs. But we've got to stay away from these big runs."

Estrada nearly pitched in the teams' extra-inning affair on Friday night, and probably would have gone out for the 14th inning had it reached that point. He began warming up, but once he saw the bases loaded with no outs, he stopped.

Cubs: End of a streak
• Saturday's loss was the first game in which a Cubs starter has allowed more than one run in the team's last five contests.

Still, over those five games, Chicago's rotation has an ERA of 2.53 (nine earned runs in 32 innings).

• Chicago has combined to score 61 runs in the club's 13 wins (4.7 runs per win) and a total of 53 runs in its 20 losses (2.65).

Brewers: Banged up
• Second baseman Rickie Weeks is day to day after being hit on the left hand and wrist in Friday night's game. X-rays were negative.

Ryan Braun was hit on the elbow in the game, but played on Saturday.

• The second time through the order has been an issue for Estrada through three starts this season. Opposing hitters are 2-for-27 and scoreless the first time through, compared with a 10-for-26 mark and nine runs on Estrada's second trip through the order.

Worth noting
• The Brewers have won 56 consecutive games when taking the lead into the eighth inning.

• Sunday will be the third game of a stretch that sees the Cubs play 21 of 29 games on the road through June 10. Comments