Reds out to avoid rarity in Cubs finale

Reds out to avoid rarity in finale with Cubs

Eric Milton will look to repeat his last pitching performance to help the Reds avoid a sweep by the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday.

Milton looked strong in his last start for the first time since his knee surgery, giving up one run on three hits over eight innings against Arizona on Friday. Milton walked none and struck out nine.

"He looked confident, he was aggressive [and] his location was pretty good," Reds catcher Javier Valentin said after Milton's last outing. "He was outstanding. He gave us an opportunity to win."

After a solid start to the season, Milton gave up nine runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Florida Marlins on April 18. That was Milton's last start before having arthroscopic surgery on his knee that kept him out for more than a month.

Milton struggled again on his return from the disabled list, giving up five runs on 10 hits to the Detroit Tigers on May 20.

But Milton will look to build off his most recent start to help the Reds avoid their first three-game sweep by the Cubs since May 28-30, 2001.

Pitching matchup
CIN: LHP Eric Milton (2-2, 5.52 ERA)
In his second start since coming off the disabled list, Milton was brilliant against the D-Backs over eight innings despite suffering the loss.

CHI: RHP Carlos Zambrano (3-2, 3.45 ERA)
Zambrano carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his last start. He's pitched with some tough luck this season, but has also been uncharacteristically wild in recent outings.

Player to watch
Adam Dunn is 3-for-5 this season against Zambrano with two homers and three RBIs.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•   Gameday
•   Official game notes

On television
• FSN Ohio

On radio
• WLW 700 AM

Up next
• Friday: Reds (RHP Aaron Harang, 5-4, 3.70) at Houston (LHP Wandy Rodriguez, 6-2, 3.95), 8:05 p.m. ET.
• Saturday: Reds (RHP Bronson Arroyo, 6-2, 2.58) at Houston (RHP Fernando Nieve, 1-3, 5.36), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Reds (RHP Elizardo Ramirez, 2-4, 4.11) at Houston (RHP Roy Oswalt, 5-3, 3.11), 2:05 p.m. ET

Ryan Crawford is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.