Bradley and Cubs Not Happy with MLB

Milton Bradley (AP)

The Cubs were not happy with the timing of Major League Baseball's announcement that it had reduced right fielder Milton Bradley's suspension from two games to one.

Bradley was penalized for an April 16 confrontation with umpire Larry Vanover over a called third strike.

Bradley appealed the suspension last week, and the Cubs heard during Thursday's game that the suspension was cut in half. From a practical standpoint, that upset the Cubs because they felt MLB could have called early in the day, and Bradley could have served the suspension Thursday, when he got a planned day off.

Instead, he'll miss Friday's series opener with the Astros.

For his part, Bradley said he appealed the suspension on principle. He could have sat out while his hamstring was bothering him, but he vehemently disagreed with the suspension. His reaction to having the suspension halved was one of resignation.

"Figures," he said.

"I never get treated fairly. It's just me. This is exactly what I expected."

Bradley was referring to his history of run-ins with umpires.

Cubs GM Jim Hendry said Bradley did not curse or threaten Vanover, and that he would have been disappointed if Bradley had not reacted the way he did. What apparently got Bradley suspended was that his helmet may have come in contact with Vanover, but the contact seemed incidental.

Bradley has come around of late with the bat. After a slow start, he has a seven-game hitting streak, during which he's gone 8-for-25.

CUBS 11, PADRES 3: The Cubs made extensive use of their bench, and the role players came through Thursday. Rookie Bobby Scales had a pair of two-run doubles. Reed Johnson doubled home two runs, and Aaron Miles had two hits and an RBI. Ryan Dempster (3-2) worked seven innings, giving up three hits and two runs. Cubs batters walked 10 times.

NEWS AND NOTES

--Scales, a 31-year-old rookie, extended his hitting streak to six games. It's the longest hitting streak to start a major league career as a Cub since Jerome Walton hit in his first seven games in 1989. Manager Lou Piniella said he saw no reason he can't find playing time for Scales, who spent more than a decade in the minors before making his debut last week.

--SS Ryan Theriot doubled and walked twice Thursday, one day after hitting two homers. Of Theriot's last 12 hits, eight have gone for extra bases (two doubles, a triple and five homers). Theriot has a .372 on-base percentage and a .484 slugging percentage.

--RHP Carlos Zambrano passed another test Thursday when he took fielding practice. Zambrano is on the mend from a strained left hamstring, and he'll pitch Sunday for Class A Daytona in Dunedin, Fla. The Cubs say he'll return to the big-league rotation May 22 at San Diego.

--OF Kosuke Fukudome extended his hitting streak to seven games by going 2-for-3 with two walks Thursday. He's 12-for-26 in the streak, and he has a .462 on-base percentage.

--RHP Jose Ascanio, who came up from Class AAA Iowa last weekend, made his season debut Thursday against the Padres. He worked two innings, giving up one hit and one run. He struck out two and walked no one, and the fact that he threw strikes will get him more chances, according to Piniella.

ON THE FARM

IOWA 17, COLORADO SPRINGS 4 (CLASS AAA)

At Colorado Springs, the Cubs (19-14) tallied double-digits in runs and 20-plus hits for the third straight day Thursday. Iowa collected 21 hits in the victory with 1B Jake Fox (4-for-6) hitting his 15th home run. RF Brad Snyder (3-for-6, four RBI) and LF Jason Dubois (2-for-5, three RBI) each hit two home runs, and 2B Matt Camp (2-for-4) totaled a season-high five RBI. RHP Vince Perkins (2-0) picked up the win in relief, allowing two runs and five hits over 3 2/3 innings. RHP Jeff Samardzija started and received a no-decision, allowing two runs and six hits over four innings. He struck out three batters.

TENNESSEE 7, WEST TENNESSEE 1 (CLASS AA)

At Sevierville, the Smokies (16-14) collected 14 hits in the victory Thursday. 3B Marquez Smith (3-for-4) had three hits – all doubles – and 2B Tony Thomas (3-for-5) hit his sixth home run atop the order.

Tennessee jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings en route to the victory.

"It was nice to jump out, get some runs early, and I figured it was the right time the guys started swinging the bats," said Smokies manager Ryne Sandberg. "I don't know how many doubles we had tonight [six] but the guys were swinging aggressively and the guys were hitting the gaps."

LHP Casey Lambert (2-2) started and tossed six shutout innings, allowing just one hit and one walk. He struck out two batters and lowered his ERA to 2.35 through six starts.

"Lambert has been tough all year," Sandberg said. "He was in a nice little zone out there. I think at one point nine out of 11 outs were fly balls, but I think they were either off the end or jammed, so he had a good fastball and did a good job throwing strikes and attacking the zone."

DAYTONA 7, CLEARWATER 4 (CLASS HIGH-A)

At Clearwater, Fla., the Cubs (16-17) collected 12 hits en route to their third straight victory Thursday. LF Jonathan Wyatt (3-for-5, three runs) led off and paced the offense with three hits, including his first home run. 2B Nate Samson (2-for-4), 1B Ryan Keedy (2-for-3) and CF Francisco Guzman (2-for-4) each had two hits while SS Starlin Castro (1-for-4) hit his second home run. RHP Ryan Searle made his sixth start and received a no-decision, allowing two runs and four hits over four innings. He walked three batters and struck out two. RHP Jose Pina (1-1) got the win in relief with 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

PEORIA 7, QUAD CITIES 3 – GAME 1 (CLASS-A)

At Peoria, the Chiefs hit three home runs in the seven-inning victory Friday. 1B Rebel Ridling (2-for-3) hit his fourth home run and C Michael Brenly (2-for-3) hit his first of the season. 2B Ryan Flaherty (1-for-3) hit his third home run. Three Peoria pitchers combined on a six-hitter as RHP Chris Huseby (1-2) got the win in relief with two scoreless innings. He struck out three batters and issued one walk.

Huseby, an 11th-round bonus baby in the 2006 draft from Stuart (Fla.) High School, lowered his ERA to 2.57 through nine relief appearances spanning 14 innings. More importantly, he has only two walks to 19 strikeouts in that span after struggling with command all of last season.

"Chris came into spring training last year and kind of lost the strike zone," said Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator Mark Riggins. "He worked on it all summer last year in extended spring training and then at [the Arizona Rookie League] when the season began. He went home this winter, worked on his own and I was actually in Peoria and watched him pitch (recently). He's doing really well. I'm really proud of what he's done compared to where he was last year at this time."

QUAD CITIES 4, PEORIA 1 – GAME 2

The Chiefs (18-15) managed just one run despite 10 hits in the seven-inning loss. 3B Josh Vitters (3-for-3) led the offense with three hits, and Ridling (2-for-3, walk) added two hits, including his fifth home run. Peoria left nine runners on base. On the mound, RHP Chris Carpenter started and received a no-decision, allowing one run and four hits over six innings. He struck out four batters. RHP Erik Hamren (0-3) suffered the loss in relief, allowing three runs and four hits in two innings of work.

InsideTheIvy.com correspondent Josh Dorsey in Sevierville contributed to this report.

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