CHICAGO (CBSMiami/Gracenote) – The Miami Marlins were riding a high following an impressive homestand but their struggles on the road are still an issue.
The surging Chicago Cubs can match their high-water mark for the season when they aim for a sixth consecutive win and a three-game sweep of the visiting Marlins on Wednesday.
The Cubs look to move four games above .500 and preserve their spot atop the National League Central alongside Milwaukee, while Miami hopes to avoid its first three-game skid since losing five straight from May 15-19.
Chicago made it five straight overall and eight in a row at home with a 10-2 rout of the Marlins on Tuesday, as Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run blast and Jason Heyward had three hits and two RBIs.
The Cubs’ offense has come to life during the homestand after totaling just nine runs during an 0-6 West Coast road trip, but the pitching has been dominant, too.
Chicago has allowed six hits or fewer in six straight games and has iced a Marlins’ lineup that entered the series averaging six runs and 10 hits while winning seven of its previous eight contests.
Miami is without team homer leader Justin Bour (16) due to an ankle injury and has dropped 11 of its last 15 on the road and has also lost seven straight at Wrigley Field dating to 2015.
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), WGN (Chicago)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Jose Urena (3-2, 3.80 ERA) vs. Cubs RH John Lackey (4-5, 4.90)
Urena hasn’t pitched well his last three starts, but the Marlins have managed to win all three.
The 25-year-old lasted only 4 1/3 innings Friday against Arizona, allowing five runs and nine hits, after issuing a season-high six walks in his previous start.
Urena faced the Cubs in 2015 and gave up three runs over six innings in a loss.
Lackey is winless in his last three outings, but he turned in a strong performance Friday against St. Louis, striking out six and allowing two runs and four hits over seven frames.
It was the first quality start for the 38-year-old since May 9, though he did allow a home run for the fourth straight start and has surrendered 14 in 11 outings this season.
Lackey is 1-1 with a 4.44 ERA in four starts against the Marlins.
- The Cubs have hit 28 home runs in their past 14 home games.
- Marlins RF Giancarlo Stanton is 12-for-30 during a nine-game hitting streak.
- Chicago is 12-for-30 with runners in scoring position over the past five games after going 3-for-40 in those situations during its six-game skid.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Gracenote contributed to this report.)