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Two good: Bradley enjoying recent surge

Bradley enjoying recent surge

CHICAGO -- Milton Bradley has found his niche in the Cubs' lineup.

Since July 12, Bradley is batting .370 with 22 runs, 16 walks, five homers and 13 RBIs in 21 games at Wrigley Field. What's made the difference is the move to the No. 2 spot, where he's batting .338 in 20 games.

"He's swinging the bat great," Chicago's Derrek Lee said. "He's had a good homestand. It's good to see him finishing the season strong."

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Is Bradley locked in?

"As soon as you say that, I'll go 0-for the rest of the season," he said. "It's just good to get some hits."

In the Cubs' 4-1 win Tuesday over the Houston Astros, Bradley hit a solo homer and also singled and scored on Aramis Ramirez's single. In the eight games so far on this homestand, he's batting .467 with 11 runs, five walks, three doubles, three homers and six RBIs.

"You can't keep getting out when you can hit like I can hit," Bradley said. "Eventually, you're going to get your swing right, your timing right, and you'll start getting to pitches that you're missing. That's what it is.

"I'm doing what I need to do, hitting second, getting on base a ton for [Lee] and 'Ramy' and [Alfonso Soriano]. I'm doing my job."

Bradley began this season having to deal with high expectations after batting .321 with Texas last year and leading the American League in on-base percentage. He has struggled but has stayed healthy, which should erase the rap that he's injury prone.

"I'm all right," he said when asked how he was physically. "It is September after a long season, and that's one of the things that I wasn't supposed to be this year is healthy and on the field playing, and that's the one thing I have been is healthy."

Asked if he was superstitious during his recent streak, Bradley said he hates such things.

"I always push the envelope," he said. "That's me. I don't like to go with the grain. I like to go against it a little bit."

He seems pleased to be showing anyone who predicted he would be sidelined with aches and pains that he can play. Remember, when he was at Texas, Bradley was the designated hitter.

"Once again, everybody's wrong," he said. "I'm supposed to hit ridiculous, and I didn't -- not until now. It's getting used to it. All the experts ain't right."

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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