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Cubs aim to ride Zambrano to series win

Cubs aim to ride Zambrano to series win

Carlos Zambrano will be aiming for his fourth straight win on Wednesday.

Zambrano will close the Chicago Cubs' three-game series against the San Francisco Giants. The right-hander has won his last three decisions, and should've picked up a W in his last start against St. Louis on July 22. In that game, he held the Cardinals to one run on three hits and matched his career high with 12 strikeouts.

The right-hander will be happy to be home. He's 4-1 with a 2.29 ERA at Wrigley Field, and 3-3 with a 4.46 ERA on the road.

Zambrano has pitched in three games against the Giants in his career, including a start last year when he did not get a decision. The Giants will counter with Brett Tomko, who pitched one inning in relief against the Cubs last season.

The Cubs were 2-4 against the Giants last year, including a 1-2 record at Wrigley. After this series, the Cubs will play host to the Arizona Diamondbacks for four games, starting Thursday.

Pitching matchup
SF: RHP Brett Tomko
• 7-10, 5.03 ERA in 2005
• 2-4, 5.29 ERA vs. CHC lifetime

CHC: RHP Carlos Zambrano
• 7-4, 3.42 ERA in 2005
• 0-0, 3.86 ERA vs. SF in 2004

Player to watch
Let's see who's behind the plate for Zambrano. When Henry Blanco is back there, Zambrano is 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA, and when it's Michael Barrett, Zambrano is 5-2 with a 3.68 ERA.

"It's been a privilege, that's for sure, and a blessing. I just love being on the same team as him and learning from him as a teammate. I think it's elevated my game in so many ways -- it's helped me as a player, it's helped me as a person. To be able to be part of this is truly special." -- Cubs catcher Michael Barrett, on working with pitcher Greg Maddux

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
Official game notes

On television

On radio
• SF: KNBR 680 AM
• CHC: WGN 720 AM

Quick hits
Mike Matheny is 3-for-13 lifetime against Zambrano. ... Barrett is 1-for-5 lifetime against Tomko, Jeromy Burnitz is 9-for-26, Todd Hollandsworth is 3-for-23, Derrek Lee is 3-for-13, Neifi Perez is 1-for-12, Aramis Ramirez 1-for-7 and Todd Walker 2-for-16. ... Mark your calendars: The Aug. 7 game at Shea Stadium against the New York Mets and the Aug. 14 game at Wrigley Field against the Cardinals both will start at 7 p.m. CT to accommodate ESPN.

On deck
• Thursday: vs. Arizona, 1:20 p.m. CT
• Friday: vs. Arizona, 1:20 p.m. CT
• Saturday: vs. Arizona, 3:05 p.m. CT

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

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