(AP) — With Jake Arrieta on the mound, the Chicago Cubs would appear to have a strong chance at winning two straight road series for the first time in almost a year.
Coming off his second consecutive scoreless outing, Arrieta tries to help the Cubs bounce back in the finale with the Miami Marlins on Wednesday.
Since giving up a run in the first inning of a 2-1 win over the New York Mets on June 3, Arrieta (2-1, 2.09 ERA) has not yielded one in 16 2-3 straight innings. He allowed three hits and struck out seven in six innings of a 4-3 defeat to Miami (36-34) on June 8, then gave up two hits and fanned a season-high nine over seven innings of a 2-1 victory at Philadelphia on Friday.
“It’s never easy to win and have success at a high level,” the right-hander said after beating the Phillies. “But you do things the right way and learn , day in and day out. Try and get better (at) at least one thing every time you come to the yard, you give yourself an opportunity to perform at a high level.”
After taking two of three at Philadelphia last weekend for their first road series victory of 2014, the Cubs (29-40) have split the first two of this three-game set. They haven’t posted back-to-back series victories away from home since last June 25-30 at Milwaukee and Seattle.
Garrett Jones hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh inning and Adeiny Hechavarria had four hits as the Marlins held on for a 6-5 win Tuesday.
Hechavarria has hit .440 in Miami’s last six games and .324 in eight career contests against the Cubs. He went 0 for 2 with a strikeout versus Arrieta this month.
Jones is 2 for 10 for against Arrieta, but one of those hits left the park.
Miami’s Nathan Eovaldi (4-2, 3.50) returns from paternity leave after the birth of his first child Sunday. The right-hander struggled Friday against Pittsburgh but wouldn’t blame the distraction of his wife nearing labor, allowing six runs and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings of an 8-6, 13-inning defeat. Eovaldi was 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his previous four outings.
His only career start against Chicago came June 6, when he gave up three runs – one earned – and struck out eight in 7 2-3 innings of a 5-3, 13-inning loss.
Nate Schierholtz is 3 for 6 with a triple versus Eovaldi but 3 for 24 in his last eight games.
Cubs first baseman and Fort Lauderdale native Anthony Rizzo is 0 for 9 with two walks and four strikeouts in the series. He’s hit .192 with eight strikeouts in nine career games in Miami.
Rizzo went 1 for 4 with a two-run double off Eovaldi earlier this month.
Miami’s Rafael Furcal is 4 for 11 with two RBIs and two runs scored in three games after going 1 for 11 in the first two of his Marlins tenure, which was delayed until last week as he recovered from a hamstring injury.
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