Urena On Mound To Start Cubs Series

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Chicago Cubs’ lineup has been overhauled by injuries to two starters and the demotion of another, but the defending World Series champions are hoping to build on one of their best offensive outputs of the season.

The Cubs and their new-look lineup aim for their fifth win in six games in the second of a four-game series at the Miami Marlins on Friday.

Chicago sent struggling slugger Kyle Schwarber to Triple-A Iowa on Thursday, and outfielder Jason Heyward (hand) joined Ben Zobrist on the disabled list. Nonetheless, the Cubs smacked 16 hits – one off their season high – in an 11-1 win in the series opener, as Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, and Willson Contreras all homered.

The Cubs have won three of four meetings with the Marlins this season, but Miami’s one win came June 7th in Chicago with the same matchup on the mound that is set for Friday. In that one, Jose Urena held the Cubs to three runs and three hits over five innings to earn the win, while veteran John Lackey allowed five runs over six innings to take the loss.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH John Lackey (5-7, 4.98 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Jose Urena (5-2, 3.64)

Lackey held Pittsburgh to one run and two hits over six innings on Sunday to earn his first win since May 16. The biggest issue for the 38-year-old has been keeping the ball in the park, as he has allowed 20 home runs after giving up just 23 all of last season. Lackey is 1-2 with a 5.01 ERA in five career starts against the Marlins.

Urena has won his last four decisions and has posted two straight quality starts. The 25-year-old didn’t factor in the decision Sunday at Atlanta, but he pitched well, limiting the Braves to two runs and three hits over six frames. Urena is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in two starts against the Cubs.

WALK-OFFS
1. The Cubs hit three home runs in the opener, improving to 12-2 when they hit at least three.
2. Marlins OF Marcell Ozuna is batting .388 with 14 home runs at home.
3. Russell was 4-for-5 on Thursday, his first four-hit game since April 24 and his first game of the season with three extra-base hits.

PREDICTION: Marlins 6, Cubs 5

By Gracenote

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