Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers
- The Cubs have won two straight and four of seven against Milwaukee after losing 21 of their previous 27 meetings. Since the start of last season, Chicago has outhit the Brewers 191-182 but has been outscored 101-85 while losing 16 of the 25 meetings.
- The Brewers have played 38 straight games without scoring or allowing 10+ runs, the longest active streak in baseball. However, Milwaukee has 10+ hits in each of its last eight games, one shy of the club record.
- Travis Wood has won three straight starts for the third time in his career (2010, 2012). In each of the previous two, he won exactly four straight. Only three Cubs lefties have won four straight starts while allowing five hits or fewer in each: Lefty Tyler in 1918, Paul Maholm in 2012 and Travis Wood in 2012.
- Marco Estrada has allowed 16 home runs this season. The only NL pitchers to allow more home runs in a season before June are Jose Lima (22 in 2000), Eric Milton (20 in 2005), Fergie Jenkins (17 in 1973), Phil Niekro (17 in 1979), Ben Sheets (17 in 2003) and Brett Myers (17 in 2009).
- Anthony Rizzo has 38 walks and 38 strikeouts this season. The only Cubs in the last 100 years to finish May with 38+ walks and at least as many walks as strikeouts are Stan Hack (1941), Ron Santo (1969), Rick Monday (1973) and Sammy Sosa (2002).
- Carlos Gomez is 15-for-29 (.517) with seven extra-base hits and nine RBI over his last seven games. He is the first Brewer with 15 hits including seven extra-base hits over a seven-game span since Casey McGehee August 8-14, 2010 (15, 7).
- Schilling: Chewing tobacco caused cancer
- Strasburg shines as Nats extend run to 8
- Cubs beat Giants after 4 1/2-hour delay
- Justin Upton stays hot, Braves rip Bucs
- Iwakuma Ks 11 in 8 scoreless as M's win
By KEVIN CHROUST
(AP) -- The Milwaukee Brewers have followed a four-game losing streak with an impressive stretch of consistent hitting that is approaching a franchise record.
They'll try to keep it going Friday night as they open a three-game home series with the Chicago Cubs, who haven't scored a run in 20 innings.
The Brewers (32-22) are batting .312 with a .364 on-base percentage over eight straight games with at least 10 hits. The franchise best is nine in a row with double-digit hits, a feat they first accomplished in 1983 and again from July 29-Aug. 7, 2011.
In Wednesday's 8-3 home win over Baltimore, left fielder Khris Davis extended his hitting streak to seven games, going 2 for 3 with a home run in a third straight contest. He was 7 for 11 with five RBIs in the series as Milwaukee won two of three to begin an eight-game homestand.
"I feel locked in," Davis told the team's official website. "I found something I could believe in inside my swing that's working, where I can lay off borderline pitches and swing at the pitch I want to hit."
The Brewers won two of three against the Cubs in Milwaukee from April 25-27 and have won 24 of 30 meetings at Miller Park since April 9, 2011. The Cubs have batted .220 in that time - slightly better than their .195 mark in the last seven games.
The Cubs (19-32) have been shut out in consecutive games for the second time this season after managing just two hits in Wednesday's 5-0 loss in San Francisco.
"I thought we put together some pretty good at-bats," manager Rick Renteria said. "We just didn't generate any runs."
They haven't been held scoreless in three straight games since going four in a row from April 27-May 1, 1992.
The Cubs have had no such issues scoring for Travis Wood, who has won three straight starts and is after a fifth win in May, despite a 5.17 ERA. Wood (5-4, 4.35 ERA) has been the beneficiary of a 5.66 run-support average from an offense that's scoring 3.8 per game.
His last two starts have been quite strong, surrendering four runs and five hits in 14 1-3 innings. The first of those came at home against Milwaukee on May 18 before he allowed two runs and three hits in 7 1-3 innings of Saturday's 3-2 victory in San Diego.
Wood is 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA in two starts at Miller Park since joining the Cubs.
He's held hot-hitting catcher Jonathan Lucroy to 2 for 16, while Carlos Gomez is 3 for 16 against him. Lucroy is batting .425 in 10 games and Gomez .459 during a nine-game hitting streak.
The left-hander will be opposed by Marco Estrada (4-2, 3.98), who has served up an MLB-high 16 home runs. The Cubs have hit four of those with Welington Castillo accounting for two. The Chicago catcher is 5 for 17 with four homers and eight RBIs versus Estrada.
Starlin Castro is batting .417 in 24 at-bats against him, while Anthony Rizzo is 1 for 21.
Estrada has limited the damage of the long ball against the Cubs enough to post a 5-1 record with a 3.09 ERA and .217 opponent batting average in seven starts against them since Aug. 21, 2012.
More recently, the 6.51 RSA he's received has helped to mask the 13 home runs he's allowed in his last six starts, over which he's 3-1 with a 4.82 ERA. In 6 2-3 innings of Friday's 9-5 win in Miami, Estrada allowed five runs and four solo homers but still earned the victory.
"I know I've given up a lot of home runs, and today was no different, but whatever," Estrada said. "If I keep them to one-run homers - these guys off the bases - good things will happen. I'm going to turn it around."
Updated May 29, 2014