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.
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"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.