Bradley Situation Comes to a Head

The Milton Bradley situation came to a head, of sorts, Thursday. Manager Lou Piniella said Bradley would not start again until he's 100 percent healthy.

Bradley strained his right groin April 12 and didn't start again until Wednesday, when he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He is off to a 1-for-23 (.043) start and found himself being booed by the Wrigley Field crowd Wednesday.

Piniella seems perturbed by the situation, and at the same time, he said every player is entitled to a slow start.

However, Piniella added that when Bradley does return to the starting lineup, he'll be moved from the cleanup spot to the sixth in the order.

"When he's ready to go and he's 100 percent, he'll let me know, and we'll go from there," Piniella said.

Bradley is appealing a two-game suspension he received for allegedly making contact with umpire Larry Vanover last week after Vanover called him out on strikes during a pinch-hit at-bat. The Cubs say they're backing Bradley's appeal.

REDS 7, CUBS 1: Cubs batters managed just seven hits against RHP Aaron Harang and never got anything going. An error by RF Micah Hoffpauir in the seventh helped the Reds score an unearned run. RHP Carlos Zambrano gave up four runs (three earned) in seven innings, but the bullpen allowed three runs in the final two innings.


--Zambrano turned in the third quality start in three days for the Cubs but saw his personal five-game winning streak against the Reds end. Zambrano also committed a throwing error.

--LF Alfonso Soriano went 2-for-4 Thursday, with a single and a double, to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Soriano credited Harang for shutting down the Cubs but said the offense has to do a better job because the Cubs have scored just one run in their last two games.

--RHP Jeff Samardzija was recalled from Class AAA Iowa and pitched the ninth inning Thursday. On most days, Samardzija will work the sixth or seventh inning as he helps RHP Aaron Heilman bridge the gap between the starters and late men Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg. Samardzija had been in Iowa's rotation, developing all of his pitches. He gave up four hits and two runs Thursday.

--RHP Luis Vizcaino was designated for assignment to make room for Samardzija. Vizcaino, a middle reliever, did not give up any runs over four appearances. Opinions around the Cubs were mixed as to how good his stuff was.

--Hoffpauir committed an error that led to a run, and Piniella said he may no longer be able to sacrifice defense for offense. Hoffpauir is more of a first baseman, but he was in right because Bradley apparently is not healthy enough to play.

--The Sports XChange



At Des Moines, Cubs (10-5) pitchers turned in a gem for the second straight day Thursday. LHP J.R. Mathes (3-1) started in place of Samardzija, who was recalled by Chicago earlier in the day, and tossed six scoreless innings. Mathes allowed just two hits in his first start of the season, striking out one batter and not allowing a walk. LHP Jason Waddell and RHPs Jeff Stevens and Kevin Hart each provided one scoreless inning of relief. At the plate, CF Sam Fuld, C Chris Robinson and SS Andres Blanco each finished 2-for-4 while 3B Bobby Scales (1-for-3) hit a two-run home run, his second this season.


At Jackson, Tenn., the Smokies (7-6) tallied 10 hits in the victory Thursday. 2B Tony Thomas (3-for-5) paced the offense atop the order, hitting his Southern League leading fourth home run. RHP Casey Coleman (3-0) started and remained unbeaten by tossing six innings and allowing two runs and six hits. He struck out five batters and walked three. LHP Jayson Ruhlman and RHPs Vince Perkins and Blake Parker each threw one scoreless inning in relief.



At Appleton, Wis., the Chiefs collected 10 hits in seven innings in the loss Thursday. Four Peoria players collected two hits – CF David Macias (2-for-4, two RBI), LF Josh Harrison (2-for-3, triple, RBI), 1B Rebel Ridling (2-for-4, home run, three RBI) and DH Kyler Burke (2-for-2, two doubles). RHP Christopher Archer made his third start and received a no-decision in four innings. He allowed two runs and three hits to go with four walks. RHP Josh Whitlock (0-1) suffered the loss in relief, allowing three runs and four hits in two innings.


A five-run fifth inning wasn't enough for the Chiefs (5-7), who allowed 11 hits and five walks in the loss. Six Peoria batters recorded a hit, including LF Cliff Andersen (1-for-2), who hit a three-run triple, and Macias (1-for-3, two RBI), who recorded a two-run single. Peoria used three pitchers in the loss with RHP Alberto Cabrera starting and allowing four runs and five hits in three innings en route to a no-decision. He walked four batters and struck out one. RHP Mike Perconte (1-1) suffered the loss in relief, allowing a go-ahead two-run home run in the sixth inning.

--Staff Reports

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