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Matt Garza: Jeff Samardzija needs to pitch way off Cubs

Matt Garza (left) and Jeff Samardzija (right) goofing off before a game last season. (Michael Zagaris/Getty Images) Matt Garza (left) and Jeff Samardzija (right) goofing off before a game last season. (Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)

Jeff Samardzija has started the season with five straight quality starts and a 1.53 ERA. But he has zero wins, as the Cubs (8-16) have struggled to score runs this season.

Samardzija's former teammate Matt Garza, who is now with the first-place Brewers (18-7), told Samardzija, through reporters, that he needs to "pitch [his] way out of there," if he doesn't want to stay with the Cubs.

"All I can tell him is keep pitching — pitch your way out of it," Garza said. "Keep your eyes focused, your eyes straight ahead and just pitch. There's nothing else you can do."

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Garza signed with the Cubs in 2011 before Chicago traded him to the Rangers last season. He signed a four-year, $50 million contract with Milwaukee this offseason.

"I told [Samardzija], 'It doesn't matter, dude. You play in Chicago,'" Garza said. "'I was there, and I lost 30 wins in three seasons. It's not your fault. You pitch your way out of there.'"

Garza, who beat the Cubs on Friday, was 21-18 with a 3.45 ERA in 60 starts for Chicago.

Samardzija, 29, is 29-37 with a 4.03 ERA in 194 appearances (71 starts) and is in his seventh season with the Cubs. He won't be a free agent until after the 2015 season but has been a constant source of trade rumors.

He avoided salary arbitration this past offseason by signing a one-year, $5.345 million deal.

Samardzija is scheduled to start for the Cubs in Cincinnati on Monday night.

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