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Zambrano's Best Start Of Season And Cubs' Bats Beat Angels 12-1

(Sports Network) – Fiery right-hander Carlos Zambrano makes his fourth start of the month and seeks to avert a sweep today when the Chicago Cubs host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the finale of a three-game interleague series at Wrigley Field.

The 29-year-old opened the season in the rotation and made three starts before a demotion to the bullpen yielded 13 appearances in relief.

He returned to starting on June 4 and was touched for six hits and three runs in a 3-1 loss at Houston.

Two more starts have resulted in a win and a loss for Zambrano, in which he’s combined to give up nine hits and eight runs in 11 innings against Milwaukee and Oakland.

He has never faced the Angels in 279 major-league outings.

The Cubs dropped Friday’s opener by a 7-6 score, then fell, 12-0, in Saturday’s second game when Howie Kendrick and Juan Rivera both knocked in three runs to back a strong start from Jered Weaver.

Weaver (7-3) struck out 11 and issued no walks over seven scoreless innings. Scot Shields retired all six batters he faced in relief to finish off the two- hit shutout.

Bobby Abreu went 4-for-5 with a run batted in for the Angels, while Torii Hunter hit a two-run homer.

Chicago starter Ted Lilly (2-6), who flirted with a no-hitter in his previous start against the White Sox, yielded a season-high eight runs — six earned — on nine hits and three walks with seven strikeouts.

The Angels go with left-hander Joe Saunders, who’s never faced the Cubs.

The Virginia native, who’s 4-1 in six road starts this season, downed Seattle and Oakland in his last two efforts away from home while combining to give up 15 hits and two runs in 15 innings.

He was defeated, 12-2, by Milwaukee on June 14 at home in his most recent start, allowing six hits and six runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Saunders was a 17-game winner in 31 starts in 2008, then followed up with 16 wins in 31 starts in 2009.