8/20 Zambrano update
Carlos Zambrano struck out five over five scoreless innings in a rehab start Thursday for Class A Peoria. Zambrano, pitching for the first time since Aug. 1, gave up four hits and did not walk a batter. He threw 76 pitches, 45 for strikes. He retired the first five batters he faced, then gave up a single in the second. In the fourth, he needed just nine pitches to retire the side, all on fly ball outs. He got in a little trouble in the fifth. The first two Clinton batters grounded out, but the next one singled, then stole second and advanced on a wild pitch. Zambrano struck out the next batter to end the inning and his evening.
He had been sidelined with back spasms, and if Zambrano comes out of this start OK, he will start Tuesday when the Cubs open a three-game series against the Nationals at Wrigley Field. Also, Big Z tuned up by hitting six home runs during batting practice in Peoria.
– Carrie Muskat