Zambrano struggles, but Cubs crush Brewers

Carlos Zambrano tried to remain positive after a rough start. Talk about the Cubs wanting to trade him in the offseason got him riled up.

Geovany Soto homered and drove in three runs, and the Chicago Cubs took advantage of 12 walks to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 13-7 on Tuesday night.

Zambrano, who celebrated the one-year anniversary on Monday of his no-hitter against the Astros in Milwaukee, continued to struggle. He handled the Milwaukee lineup with relative ease in the first four innings, striking out eight, but he got roughed up in the fifth for five runs, giving up a 4-0 lead.

“It’s been tough, but I’m not frustrated,” Zambrano said. Just try to help this team and do the best every time I go to the mound, but just have fun. I go out there to have and try to help this team every where I can.”

Zambrano became agitated when asked if he’s seen reports the Cubs will ask him to waive his no-trade clause after the season.

“I don’t care,” he said. “If the Cubs want to trade me is because they don’t like me anymore. I have to move on, what else can I do? Just move on.”

Would he waive his no-trade clause?

“No. I don’t want to. What kind of question is that?” That’s enough,” Zambrano said as he stormed out of the interviewing room.

Derrek Lee hit a two-run double and drove in three runs and Mike Fontenot had an RBI single and scored twice for the Cubs, who have won seven of eight.

In addition to issuing 12 walks, five Brewers pitchers combined to hit three batters, two with the bases loaded.

Corey Hart had a two-run double and Mike Cameron had a two-run single to cap off a five-run fifth inning for the Brewers.

Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo couldn’t hold a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the fifth. He gave up a solo shot to Soto on a 1-2 pitch to tie it at 5. It was Soto’s 11th of the season.

With one out in the sixth inning, Gallardo walked Ryan Theriot and hit Kosuke Fukudome with a pitch before leaving the game.

“As soon as the game started, I never was quite able to find my release point. Make one good pitch, I’d do the same thing. I just really couldn’t find my release point,” said Gallardo. “I just couldn’t locate my fastball. For some reason I just left fastballs over the plate.”

Brewers reliever Toddy Coffey walked Lee to load the bases, then Coffey hit Aramis Ramirez with a pitch to allow the go-ahead run. Soto followed with a two-run single to give the Cubs an 8-5 lead and chase Coffey.

“I’m just pretty embarrassed with the way I threw the ball tonight,” Coffey said. “Obviously I can’t walk a guy and hit a guy with bases loaded and put the run in. The loss is on me tonight. That’s unacceptable.”

Milton Bradley followed with a hard liner to first baseman Prince Fielder. Fielder tried to get the force at second, but made an errant throw, allowing Ramirez to score. Fontenot followed with an RBI single off Brewers reliever Carlos Villanueva.

Cubs reliever Kevin Gregg (6-6) pitched a scoreless sixth inning.

Brewers reliever Chris Smith walked Lee with the bases loaded and hit Bradley in the seventh with the bases loaded.

Gallardo (12-12) allowed seven runs on seven hits and five walks in 5 1-3 innings.

Zambrano allowed five runs on six hits in five innings. He struck out nine, but walked four.

“Zambrano really had it going for 4 2-3 innings. You got a 4-nothing lead with the pitcher coming up and two outs, you feel pretty good about getting out of that inning and they put five runs on the board,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “I like the way Carlos was throwing the ball early, but I don’t know what happened there in the fifth inning.”

Lee’s three RBIs gave him 101 for the season. It’s his second career 100 RBI season.


The Cubs placed OF Alfonso Soriano on the 15-day disabled list after undergoing season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Tuesday. Soriano, who made seven straight All-Star games before missing out this year, struggled to hit .241 with 20 homers and 55 RBIs on the season. It was his lowest output for home runs since 2001. Piniella said the surgery was a success and expects Soriano to be ready for spring training. … Lee and Theriot each had four walks for the Cubs. … Brewers OF Frank Catalanotto had an RBI triple and scored a run in the ninth.