Cubs seeing Red for week-long trip

Surging Cubs seeing Red for week-long trip

Time to hit the road.

The Chicago Cubs will begin a week-long road trip against Central Division foes Cincinnati and St. Louis on Monday night at Great American Ball Park. Jerome Williams will make his fourth start for the Cubs on Monday against the Reds.

The Cubs have won six of their last seven games, including Sunday's 8-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"I think we've been saying for a while that to get to where we want to get, every game, every series is important," Cubs outfielder Jeromy Burnitz said. "We had a good one [against the Pirates], and we'll move on and get 'em tomorrow."

Williams is 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA since joining the Cubs. The right-hander has gone at least six innings in each of his starts. He did not get a decision in his last start July 7 against Atlanta. He has not faced the Reds since 2003, and that was his only start. He struck out nine in that game.

The Cubs and Reds rank 1-2 in the National League in home runs, so expect to see balls flying. Chicago is 3-2 against Cincinnati so far this season.

Derrek Lee heads into the series leading the National League in hitting (.372) and home runs (28) -- four shy of his career high of 32, which he set last season with the Cubs.

After four games in Cincinnati, the Cubs meet National League Central leader St. Louis for a three-game weekend series, starting Friday.

Pitching matchup
CHC: RHP Jerome Williams
• 1-3, 4.89 ERA in 2005
• 0-0, 3.00 ERA vs. CIN in career

CIN: LHP Brandon Claussen
• 4-6, 3.61 ERA in 2005
• 0-1, 5.40 ERA vs. CHC in 2005

Player to watch
Todd Walker has a 10-game hitting streak, and is batting .350 (14-for-40) in that stretch.

"Everybody's crying for youth, but if you have youth, you're going to have to develop and live with some mistakes. You hope that by the time they get here, they've honed their skills enough and been trained enough to play big-league baseball. That's the key. Modern baseball is such that you have to do more teaching at the big-league level. When we first came up, they expected things." -- Cubs manager Dusty Baker, on working with young players like Matt Murton and Ronny Cedeno

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
Official game notes

On television

On radio
• CHC: WGN 720 AM

Quick hits
The Cubs are 24-22 at Wrigley Field, and 22-23 on the road. ... Aramis Ramirez is 2-for-5 against Claussen, Jerry Hairston is 1-for-3 and Lee is 1-for-5. ... Williams has to watch out for Wily Mo Pena, who is 2-for-3 against him. ... The July 24 game at Busch Stadium vs. St. Louis will start at 7 p.m. CT to accommodate ESPN, as well as the Aug. 7 game at Shea Stadium against the New York Mets.

On deck
• Tuesday: at Cincinnati, 6:10 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: at Cincinnati, 6:10 p.m. CT
• Thursday: at Cincinnati, 11:35 a.m. CT

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.