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07/09/08 11:17 PM ET

Edmonds feeling healthy with Cubs

Chicago (55-36) vs. Cincinnati (43-49), Thursday, 1:20 p.m. CT

CHICAGO -- Jim Edmonds is looking forward to the second half because he isn't dizzy any more.

The Cubs center fielder suffered a slight concussion on June 21, 2006, when he crashed into the outfield wall at U.S. Cellular Field during an Interleague game between the Cardinals and White Sox. Edmonds was trying to snare a home run by Joe Crede. He hit the ground hard, and clutched the back of his head. Doctors prescribed medication.

"It was supposed to help me concentrate because when I was playing, I would get dizzy and it was hard to play a whole game," he said. "Even going into the following season in '07, I still had trouble."

He took the medication last year, and was still taking it at the beginning of this season when he played for the San Diego Padres. After he was released on May 9, and joined the Cubs, he talked to athletic trainer Mark O'Neal, whom Edmonds knew from their days when both were in St. Louis.

"What [the medication] does is, it makes you concentrate but it plays tricks with your eyes," Edmonds said. "When I was looking through the fence, I was having trouble watching the game, and it affected my vision so much it was twisting me around."

O'Neal and Edmonds talked, Edmonds did some homework, and decided to stop taking it.

"I feel pretty good now," Edmonds said. "We'll see how it goes."

He was feeling so good in June that he led all Cubs regulars with a .319 average. That's quite a comeback after beginning the season at .178 in 26 games with the Padres. Edmonds blames his slow start on a Spring Training injury coupled with changes he made in his swing in an attempt to make the most of PETCO Park in San Diego.

"I stood up a little taller and I was trying to swing down on the ball and it wasn't my swing," he said. "It had me in a funk. All those little things I was doing was adding to me having a tough time."

The Padres athletic trainer also tried to get Edmonds to stop taking the medication.

"It's funny because a lot of guys take it," Edmonds said. "They said they were having a little problem with it, too. You never know -- you're trying to do the right thing, and it was time to do something else."

The doctors who originally prescribed the medication were correct in doing so.

"I needed it right away," Edmonds said. "I wouldn't have been able to play in the playoffs in '06 without it. You live and you learn. That's why it's prescription medication. You've got to really pay attention to what you're taking and who it's good for and who it's not good for."

On Thursday, the Cubs will close their series against the Cincinnati Reds, and Edmonds will likely be patrolling center field. He's batting .230 overall, and .269 with six doubles, a triple, eight homers and 24 RBIs in 39 games since joining the Cubs on May 14. Is the first half a success now that he can focus and feels healthy?

"No, I wouldn't say it's a success," Edmonds said. "I'm still hitting .230 over the year. I could get my numbers up pretty quick. It's still a long grind. If I finish the second half not doing well, it doesn't matter. We'll talk about it at the end of the year and put it in better perspective."

He admits he tried to do too much in the Cubs' series at St. Louis last weekend, going 0-for-7 in two games before missing the third after jamming his thumb. He wants to finish the year with a respectable performance.

"That's what I'm going to strive for in the second half," he said.

Pitching matchup
CHC: LHP Ted Lilly (9-5, 4.47 ERA)
Lilly gave up two runs on six hits and two walks over seven innings in his last start against the Cardinals, but did not get a decision. St. Louis rallied against Kerry Wood in the ninth for the win. Lilly was cruising until the sixth when Rick Ankiel led off with a home run. The lefty faced the Reds on April 17, and took the loss, giving up five runs on six hits over six innings while striking out six.

CIN: RHP Bronson Arroyo (6-7, 5.82 ERA)
After what he called "the worst outing" of his career on June 24 in Toronto, Arroyo has posted two of his better starts of the season. This will be his first start against the Cubs this year. He did face Carlos Zambrano last Sept. 28, and lost. The Cubs clinched the National League Central Division later that night when the Brewers lost.

Looking ahead to the second half, the Cubs rotation at Houston, July 18-20, will be Lilly, Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster, followed by Rich Harden, Jason Marquis and Lilly against Arizona, July 21-23. Harden will make his Cubs debut either Friday or Saturday. ... Jason Dubois hit his team-leading 13th homer to help Iowa beat Round Rock, 8-2. Justin Berg picked up the win, giving up two runs, both unearned on three hits over five innings. ... Mark Holliman gave up two runs on two hits and four walks over four innings in Double-A Tennessee's 5-2 win over West Tenn. Matt Camp had three hits for the second straight game. ... Blake Lalli had three hits in Class A Daytona's 8-5 win over Dunedin, and was then promoted to Tennessee after the game. Pitcher Dumas Garcia also was added to Tennessee's roster, while infielder Matt Craig was promoted to Triple-A Iowa.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WGN 720

Up next
• Friday: Cubs (Jason Marquis, 6-5, 4.78) vs. Giants (Matt Cain, 5-7, 4.30), 1:20 p.m. CT
• Saturday: Cubs (Sean Marshall, 1-2, 4.10) vs. Giants (Kevin Correia, 1-5, 4.96), 12:05 p.m. CT
• Sunday: Cubs (Ryan Dempster, 10-3, 3.13) vs. Giants (Tim Lincecum, 10-2, 2.66), 1:20 p.m. CT

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.