Cubs-Marlins Preview

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.