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2013 Outlook: Peralta could be in starter mix

No one has to look deep into the Cubs' stats so far this season to get a sense of what their Achilles' heel has been.

The team is batting just .148 (17-for-115) with runners in scoring position, the lowest average in the Majors. In the last three games alone, Chicago is just 3-for-26 with runners in scoring position.

"It's a small sample at this point in the season, but the one thing besides some mistakes we're making in the field is it's holding us back from breaking games open and taking leads," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "We just can't seem to get going with men in scoring position."

The Cubs will try and reverse course on Sunday as the team looks to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Brewers.

Scott Feldman will make his third start for the Cubs this season as he continues to fight through stiffness in his back.

The right-hander took his second straight loss on April 11 against the Giants, allowing six runs, two earned, on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Meanwhile, right-hander Wily Peralta gets the nod for Milwaukee, still looking for his first win of the season as the Brewers go for their seventh straight win.

While the Brewers believe Peralta has an incredible upside, he's been fairly inconsistent this season. Trying to figure out a solution, the team will pair Peralta with backup catcher Martin Maldonado on Sunday. Maldonado is a fellow Spanish speaker who played with Peralta all through the Minors.

"I did a lot of thinking about it," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "That doesn't mean that [regular catcher Jonathan Lucroy] can't handle him, but what it means is you've got a couple guys that are friends, they talk all the time, the language, and I think their personalities. 'Maldy' is maybe a nice fit to get Peralta back pitching well."

The right-hander went just four innings in his last start against the Giants, allowing six runs on seven hits for the no-decision.

Cubs: Gregg hoping adjustments work
• Friday marked Kevin Gregg's first game action since March 30 and his first big league game since last September. The Cubs reliever gave up an infield single and then walked Ryan Braun before he was pulled.

After posting a 4.95 ERA in 40 games with the Orioles last season, Gregg started tweaking his mechanics this offseason before he was released by the Dodgers at the end of Spring Training.

"When I went in and got there, they said, 'Hey, we have some things we want to work on,' and a lot of it was similar to what I had done in the offseason," said Gregg.

Those changes include being in a better position on the mound and adjusting his hands.

Brewers: Aramis targets next homestand for return
• While he continues to play it safe, third baseman Aramis Ramirez is targeting the team's next homestand for his return from a left knee sprain.

Ramirez took soft toss and hit off a tee Friday for the third time since he sprained his left knee on April 5. He has also been playing catch on the field, and on the Brewers' upcoming West Coast road trip, will try running the bases for the first time.

"That's what I'm shooting for," Ramirez said. "I don't know if it will be in the Pirates series, that may be pushing it. But next homestand. That's what I'm looking at. I'm making strides."

Worth Noting
• The Brewers are a Major League-best 112-61 at home since 2011.

• Since making his Major League debut on May 7, 2010 at the age of 20, Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has recorded 550 hits, the most in the National League in that span.

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