Friday, May 30, 2014
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Preview: Cubs At Brewers

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[May 30, 2014]  Coming off one of their best stretches so far this season, the Chicago Cubs have returned to their woeful ways at the plate. The Cubs look to avoid a third straight shutout when they open a three-game road series Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers, who have won two straight to maintain their National League Central lead. The teams have split six games this season with each winning two of three at home.

Unlike the Cubs, the Brewers have been hot at the plate, recording 10 or more hits in a season-high eight consecutive games. Left-hander Travis Wood looks to cool off those bats and become the fourth Cubs pitcher in the last 20 years to earn five wins in May, joining Carlos Silva and Sean Marshall in 2010 and Kevin Foster in 1997. Brewers right-hander Marco Estrada will try to resume his dominance over the Cubs -- he had won all five of his decisions against them before they beat him May 18 in Chicago.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs LH Travis Wood (5-4, 4.35 ERA) vs. Brewers RH Marco Estrada (4-2, 3.98)

Wood has won three straight starts and took a shutout into the eighth inning in his most recent outing at San Diego. The 27-year-old has allowed four runs and five hits in 14 1/3 innings over his past two starts. Wood is 4-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) against the Brewers and has split a pair of meetings with them this season.

Estrada picked up a win last time out despite allowing five runs in 6 2/3 innings in a 9-5 win at Miami. The 30-year-old allowed a career-high four homers in that outing, bringing his season total to 16 -- the most in the majors. Estrada has neutralized Cubs left-handed hitters Anthony Rizzo (1-for-21) and Nate Schierholtz (1-for-11), but Starlin Castro (10-for-24) has had success against him.

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1. Brewers SS Jean Segura has recorded multiple hits in five of seven games since moving into the leadoff spot.

2. The Cubs are 0-24 when trailing entering the eighth inning and 0-26 when trailing entering the ninth.

3. Milwaukee CF Carlos Gomez is batting .459 with two homers during a nine-game hitting streak while LF Khris Davis is batting .444 with four homers during a seven-game hitting streak.

PREDICTION: Brewers 5, Cubs 3

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