MILWAUKEE -

Jason Hammel shined Saturday while Jeff Samardzija was shelled Sunday as both Chicago Cubs pitchers carry on amid swirling trade rumors.

Both right-handers have been standouts this season on an otherwise dreadful Chicago squad, making them leading candidates to be shipped elsewhere before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Hammel's seven shutout innings Saturday at Milwaukee dropped his ERA to 2.78 on the season and improved his record to 6-3.

Samardzija had been even stingier. His 1.68 ERA heading into his start Sunday at Miller Park was the best in baseball -- but he was snakebite by a lack of run support, leaving him with a 1-4 record.

Milwaukee shelled Samardzija Sunday, tagging him for eight runs on eight hits and three walks over three innings -- his shortest career start -- but he denied that trade speculation had anything to do with his performance.

"There's a lot of talk going on," Samardzija said Sunday. "I'm not saying it gets to you -- it's part of the job. Whatever is on the outside doesn't matter. You have a job to do every fifth day. You assess it like that. You don't make any excuses for it."

Aside from their performance, both players are appealing to other teams because of their contract status.

Samardzija avoided arbitration last winter when he agreed to a one-year, $5.345 million deal with the Cubs, who have explored the possibility of a long-term deal, but the sides are significantly far apart. Hammel signed a one-year, $6 million deal during the offseason and, at 31 years of age, could still draw one more big-money contract this winter.

But that's not first and foremost on Hammel's mind.

"I know my own value," he said. "My value right now is in here for the Cubs. I'm not going to play into the whole trade talk."

Manager Rick Renteria did not want to try to picture his team without its two top pitchers.

"That's a great question. But I think I'll cross that bridge - if I have to cross that bridge - when I get to it," Renteria said.