Johnson was forced into Tuesday's game in Atlanta after starting right fielder Milton Bradley pulled up lame at first base on a fourth-inning groundout. Bradley was trying to leg out a high chopper, and he suffered what the Cubs termed a strained right calf.
It's the second injury of the regular season for Bradley, who has a lengthy history of ailments. On April 12, he suffered a strained right groin running the bases in Milwaukee and was out six consecutive starts. He was in and out of the lineup after that for a time because of the lingering effects of the injury.
Both Bradley and Johnson have been hitting well. Bradley was 8-for-20 on the just-concluded homestand. Johnson extended his hitting streak to seven games after coming in for Bradley.
The Cubs list Bradley as day-to-day. Piniella grew frustrated with Bradley's previous injury, telling the media he was not going to play Bradley until he was 100 percent. Last year, Bradley played in 126 games for Texas.
BRAVES 6, CUBS 5 (12 innings): Aaron Heilman gave up a one-out RBI single to Chipper Jones in the 12th. Randy Wells was deprived of his first big-league win (again). Wells worked seven innings, giving up two hits and two runs, one earned. Kevin Gregg allowed a two-run, game-tying homer to Jeff Francoeur in the ninth.
--LF Alfonso Soriano's leadoff home run was his first homer and first RBI since May 17. It also was his 54th leadoff home run of his career, breaking a second-place tie all time with Craig Biggio. (Rickey Henderson is the all-time leader, with 81.) Soriano has been bothered by a sore left knee, but the Cubs say it does not preclude him from playing.
--Wells lowered his ERA from 1.80 to 1.69 with seven innings of two-hit ball Tuesday, as he allowed two runs, one earned. Wells has yet to record a victory since coming up from the minor leagues May 8 despite pitching well. He threw only 83 pitches against the Braves.
--RHP Rich Harden threw Tuesday and will throw a side session Thursday as he recovers from a mid-back strain that has sidelined him for two weeks. Harden likely will work in a minor league rehab outing over the weekend and be ready to come off the DL next week in Houston.
--RHP Carlos Marmol continues to have command issues. He has 23 walks and five hit batters in 24 innings pitched this year. Together with 13 hits allowed, Marmol has a high WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) of 1.50. Last year, Marmol allowed 40 hits and 41 walks in 87 1/3 innings pitched for a WHIP of 0.93.
--SS Ryan Theriot entered Tuesday with a six-game hitting streak (11-for-21), with six runs and four RBIs. However, that ended with an 0-for-6 night against the Braves, including a called third strike in the 12th inning.
--1B Derrek Lee had an RBI double and a solo homer. He entered the game with just one RBI since May 17.
NASHVILLE 3, IOWA 0 (CLASS AAA)
At Nashville, Tenn., the Cubs (26-27) were held to four hits in the shutout loss Tuesday and dropped to below .500 for the first time since opening day. CF Sam Fuld (1-for-4) singled and has now hit safely in eight of his last nine games. RHP Esmailin Caridad (3-6) started and suffered his fifth straight loss, allowing three runs and five hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out one.
CAROLINA 1, TENNESSEE 0 – 10 INNINGS (CLASS AA)
At Zebulon, N.C., the Smokies (21-32) were held to five hits en route to their 10th straight loss Tuesday. LF Ty Wright (2-for-4) paced the offense with two hits, extending his hit streak to 12 consecutive games. He is batting .282 through 51 games. RHP Casey Coleman started and threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a no-decision. He allowed eight hits and five walks and struck out two batters. RHP Todd Blackford (0-1) suffered the loss in relief, facing two batters and allowing a walk-off home run.
SARASOTA 6, DAYTONA 1 (CLASS HIGH-A)
At Daytona Beach, the Cubs (22-24) out-hit the Reds, 8-6, in the loss Tuesday. CF Tony Campana (2-for-4) paced the offense with two hits, his fifth multi-hit game in his last eight contests. C Robinson Chirinos (1-for-1, walk) singled and drove in the Cubs' only run. He is batting .364 through 23 games and has hit safely in five straight contests with 12 RBI in his last three games. LHP James Leverton (2-6) started and suffered the loss, allowing four runs and three hits in four innings.
At Peoria, the Chiefs' scheduled game against Beloit was suspended due to rain with the score tied 1-1 in the second inning. The game will be completed in its entirety Wednesday beginning at 5 p.m. CT.
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InsideTheIvy.com Editor in Chief Steve Holley was a guest on XL 950 Sports Talk in Indianapolis on…