Cubs-Nationals Preview

The post-Lou Piniella era for the Chicago Cubs is off to a good
start.

Carlos Zambrano looks to help maintain that momentum while
trying to extend his own and the team’s recent road success over
the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.

One day after Piniella’s sudden resignation, Chicago (52-74)
beat Washington 9-1 on Monday in former third base coach Mike
Quade’s managerial debut. A former manager of the Cubs’ Triple-A
affiliate, Quade is a candidate to replace Piniella on a full-time
basis next season.

Cubs players hope to play well under their new boss and salvage
something positive from an already disappointing season.

“We’re comfortable with him,” said outfielder Tyler Colvin, who
had two RBIs on Monday. “A lot of us young guys have dealt with him
in the past in the minors, so we’re just going to keep going along
and playing the game like we should.”

Blake DeWitt and Xavier Nady each had three hits while Alfonso
Soriano had two RBIs as the Cubs won for the sixth time in 26
games.

A former player with the Nationals, Soriano is 12 for 33 with
eight RBIs in his last eight games at Washington.

Despite a 24-36 road record, Chicago has won three straight away
from Wrigley Field. The Cubs have outscored the Nationals 35-12
during a five-game winning streak in Washington.

After rookie Casey Coleman earned his first career victory in
the opener, the Cubs hope Zambrano (4-6, 4.97 ERA) can win a fourth
straight start at Washington.

The right-hander has allowed one earned run and struck out 19
over 18 2-3 innings to win his last three starts at Washington.

Zambrano is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts since returning
to the rotation after another stint as a reliever followed his
activation from the restricted list. He allowed one run and four
hits but walked six in a 5-3 loss to San Diego on Thursday.

John Lannan (5-5, 5.13) will try to win his fourth straight
start when he takes the ball for the Nationals on Tuesday.

The left-hander allowed two runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 6-2 win
at Atlanta on Thursday to improve to 3-0 with a 3.09 ERA in four
starts since being recalled from a six-week stint at Double-A
Harrisburg.

“I think I’m close,” Lannan said of turning his season around.
“That’s the main thing for me, going out with confidence and
conviction.”

Lannan, 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA in four starts against the Cubs,
allowed three runs and five walks in six innings of a 4-3,
10-inning loss at Chicago on April 26.

Adam Dunn had one of three hits Monday for Washington (53-72),
which has lost 11 of 15.

“I talked to the ballclub after the game and let them know that
they have to play with more energy,” manager Jim Riggleman said.
“You have to find a way.”

Seven of Dunn’s 13 hits in 60 at-bats against Zambrano are home
runs.

Chicago’s Marlon Byrd is day to day after being hit on the wrist
with a pitch Monday.