--RHP Carlos Zambrano improved to 5-2 with a 4.59 ERA, pitching six innings and throwing 100 pitches in the Cubs' 9-3 win over the Mets. However, he left to see the team doctor after the game. The Cubs said Zambrano has been dealing with a stiff neck for his last few starts. They added the injury was "insignificant" and that Zambrano should be able to make his next scheduled start.
--RHP Justin Berg was optioned to Class AAA Iowa one day after a brutal relief outing. His demotion clears a roster spot for newly acquired RHP Rodrigo Lopez. Berg entered Wednesday's game against the Mets with runners on second and third base and proceeded to walk the next three hitters by throwing 12 consecutive balls and no strikes. Berg's ERA was mercifully spared when LHP James Russell came in to retire the next two hitters. In eight games with the Cubs this season, Berg had a 3.75 ERA.
--RF Kosuke Fukudome hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot in the eighth inning. Fukudome was back in the leadoff spot Thursday, and he went 3-for-4 with a walk. He has a .319 average and a .441 on-base percentage. With CF Marlon Byrd on the disabled list, Fukudome should see plenty of playing time in right, with Reed Johnson getting the bulk of the starts in center.
--OF Tony Campana, a rookie, made his first major league start, playing center field. Campana made two good catches in the first inning and added three hits. "It was a good way to start the game for me," said Campana, called up May 17. "I was kind of nervous, getting my first start. That kind of broke the nerves for me." Campana figures to see most of his time as a pinch runner and late-inning defensive replacement.
--1B Carlos Pena hit his sixth homer of the season and his second at Wrigley Field, where it has been cold most of the year and was again Thursday. All six of Pena's homers have come in his last 20 games, dating to May 3. "Getting better, little by little, hitting the daylights out of that ball," manager Mike Quade said. "That's what he's here for, really. As the conditions improve and his swing gets better, there will be more balls leave the ballpark."
--2B Darwin Barney committed two errors but went 2-for-4 with a sacrifice fly. He has hit safely in 14 of his last 19 games, going 25-for-80 (.313).
BY THE NUMBERS
3 -- RHP Carlos Zambrano was one of three Cubs with three hits. He singled his first two times up, driving in a run in the third. He later doubled and scored a run. Zambrano, who had a pinch-hit two-run single Tuesday, is 9-for-24 (.375) this season.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"It's been unbelievable. It's something you dream about since you're a little kid. I'm still just out there having fun." -- OF Tony Campana, on his first week in the major leagues.
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