7/24 Extra bases

The Cubs will be vying for their first three-game win streak on Sunday.

“I’d like to get 12 [wins in a row],” Mike Quade said. “I’d like to see [Matt Garza] pitch well and win. If we get three, don’t think we won’t be hungry for four. It’s still a part of playing well and doing stuff consistently, whether it’s getting consistent starting pitching or driving in runs or finding a way to finish games. Three in a row doesn’t happen unless those things happen.”

* The trade deadline is one week away but Quade doesn’t think any of his players should be distracted by it.

“Show up every day and focus on who we’re playing,” Quade said Sunday about what their approach should be. “Everybody deals with stuff differently, whether it’s speculation or reality. I do think that when I look at the veterans who are here, this is not their first rodeo and this is not stuff they haven’t experienced before, whether it’s them personally or a teammate. I suppose [the rumors are] out there but I would expect them not to be distracted at all.”

* The Cubs have a tough road trip ahead, facing the three top teams in the Central Division in the Brewers, Cardinals and Pirates. The rotation against Milwaukee will be Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano and Randy Wells, and Garza will open the series in St. Louis on Friday, followed by Rodrigo Lopez. Lopez remains in the bullpen for now.

“He’d be available even through the second game in Milwaukee,” Quade said. “He’s been pretty resilient. His experience is important.”

* Garza, who started Sunday, has not let the lack of run support bother him.

“To his credit, he just keeps pitching,” Quade said. “He’s something. He shows up and he’s ready to go every day. I don’t notice any wear or tear because he’s not getting the breaks. He comes back to pitch and wants to pitch well for his club.”

— Carrie Muskat

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