Zambrano gives up three runs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Carlos Zambrano struggled in another Triple-A tune-up on Tuesday, allowing three runs in one inning of work for the Iowa Cubs.

Zambrano loaded the bases in the seventh inning, walked in a run and gave up a two-out, two-RBI single to Albuquerque's Ivan De Jesus Jr. He allowed three hits and struck out one, throwing 32 pitches in the inning, 20 for strikes.

Zambrano, who hasn't pitched in the major leagues since his June 25 dugout confrontation with teammate Derrek Lee, is scheduled to rejoin the Cubs in Colorado for their series starting Friday.

"All he's doing is getting some work in, throwing some pitches," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said before Wednesday's game in Houston. "I'm not concerned about him being ready. The first thing is he needs to talk to the team and then we will go from there."

Zambrano, who will be available to pitch out of the bullpen during the series with the Rockies, will talk to his teammates on Friday before the Cubs take the field for batting practice.