Saturday, June 25, 2016

Cubs, Lackey look to build winning streak vs. Miami

John Lackey will make his first career start in Miami as the Marlins and Cubs square off for the third of four games on Saturday afternoon. The Cubs won on Friday night, snapping a four-game losing skid, their longest of the season.
Lackey (7-3, 2.78) has faced the Fish before, however. He's 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in two career starts against Miami. The 37-year-old veteran has been on a roll in June, going 2-1 with a 1.75 ERA in four starts. He's riding a string of 10 quality starts, and he has a 1.97 ERA in that span.
Opposite Lackey will be right-hander Paul Clemens (0-0, 5.40). Still in search of his first win this season and first since 2013, Clemens surrendered three runs -- all solo homers -- to the Rockies in his 2016 debut his last time out.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said he expects Clemens to be a little more settled in this start, despite the fact that he's taking on the Cubs.
"Kind of what you see from a guy that hasn't been here in a little bit," Mattingly said of Clemens' last start. "He wants to show you what he can do. This next one's gonna be a little less stressed."
Three things to know about this game
• Anthony Rizzo sat out for a second straight game Friday with lower back soreness, whileMiguel Montero has yet to play since tweaking his right knee Wednesday. Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Friday that both are making progress.
• Lackey and Ichiro Suzuki have a long history facing each other, when both played in the American League West. Ichiro is 36-for-119 (.303) in his career off Lackey, whom he has seen more than any other pitcher.
• Justin Bour's second career grand slam Friday was also his second this month. The first baseman was originally drafted by the Cubs in 2009, but the Marlins selected him from Chicago in the 2013 Rule 5 Draft.

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