After finally breaking out of their season-long offensive funk,
the Miami Marlins hope to build off that effort as they open a
four-game series against the Chicago Cubs.
The Marlins will try to win consecutive games for the first time
and give Kevin Slowey his first win in the majors since 2010 on
Thursday night when they host a battle between last-place
While Miami enters the contest ranked at or near the bottom of
the majors in runs (56), home runs (six) and batting average
(.221), the team put together a promising performance in an 8-5 win
over Minnesota on Tuesday.
The Marlins, last in the NL East at 5-16, matched their season
high in runs and doubles (4) and had a season-best 16 hits to gain
a split of their day-night doubleheader.
Rob Brantly had three hits and a career-high four RBIs, while
Giancarlo Stanton was 2 for 4 and two RBIs to lead the attack.
“We haven’t had a game like this yet,” said Stanton, who
entered the game with just one RBI for the season. “It was good
that we overcame the weather, too, to wake up the bats a little
The Marlins look to keep the bats going and finally plate some
runs for Slowey (0-2, 1.90 ERA), who has allowed five runs over his
23 2-3 innings.
Miami, however, has provided only one run of support over his
first four starts.
Slowey, who has battled through several injuries, has lost 10
straight decisions since beating Oakland on Sept. 18, 2010, while
he was with Minnesota. He did not get a decision in a 2-1 win last
Friday despite limiting Cincinnati to one run on four hits in six
“This is certainly one of the best stretches I’ve had,
feeling-wise,” said Slowey, who won his only career start against
the Cubs in 2009. “Nothing is bothering me.”
The Central-worst Cubs (6-14), who are 1-5 on their current road
trip, have also had their share of struggles offensively. They’ve
batted .207 over their last five games after being held to five
hits in a 1-0 loss at Cincinnati on Wednesday.
David DeJesus has fared well against Slowey dating back to his
days in the American League, batting 7 for 20 with four doubles and
a homer in this matchup.
Chicago will try provide some scoring and solid defense for
Jackson (0-3, 4.84), who was hurt by errors while allowing five
runs – one earned – over six innings in a 5-1 loss at Milwaukee on
Cubs fielders haven’t done many favors for their pitching staff,
ranking among the worst defensive clubs in the league with 18
“We just have to make plays when we have a chance,” said
Jackson, who has only beaten the Marlins once in seven career
starts. “It’s just a matter of going out and doing it.”
New Marlin Miguel Olivo is 4 for 8 with two homers against
Jackson, while third baseman Placido Polanco has gone hitless in 10
at-bats in this matchup.
Miami won four of six between the teams last year, including a
three-game sweep at Marlins Park last April.