The Miami Marlins are coming off of a series split with the first place Washington Nationals and will now get set to head to Chicago and storied Wrigley Field to take on the Cubs. The Cubs come in hot having won four straight including a sweep over the Arizona Diamondbacks to start the second half. For Miami, the trip to Chicago will kick off a six-game road-trip that includes a visit to Pittsburgh. The series for Chicago will be the last one at home before the Cubs hit the road for six games themselves. The trip to Wrigley Field will be the only one for Miami this season and conclude the season series between the Fish and Cubs.
The Miami Marlins enter the series with a record of 43-46 putting them in fourth place in the National League East. The Marlins are nine games back of the Washington Nationals and six games back of the Pittsburgh Pirates for the final wild card spot. The Chicago Cubs, despite playing well of late, enter the series with the Marlins with a record of 36-52 which has them in fifth place in the National League Central. Chicago is 13.5 games back of the Cincinnati Reds in the division. The Marlins and Cubs will play night games on Tuesday and Wednesday before concluding the season series with a day game on Thursday.
Miami leads 3-0. The Marlins swept the Cubs in South Florida back in April holding the Cubs to just six runs over the three-game-set. Taking all three from the Cubs took the Marlins’ record from 4-6 to 7-6 and put them over .500 for the first time in 2012.
After not playing a game since May, Marlins’ outfielder Emilio Bonifacio made his return to the Miami lineup against Washington. During the four-game series, Bonifacio went 3-for-11 with a run scored, a RBI and a pair of stolen bases. After missing 46 games, Bonifacio seemed to bring speed and energy back to the Miami lineup. Bonifacio even drove home a run with a successful squeeze bunt during Monday’s 5-3 win over Washington. Despite missing nearly two months of baseball, Bonifacio still ranks fourth in the National League with 22 stolen bases.
Dunn Gets it Done for First Career Save
Since closer Heath Bell was demoted after blowing his sixth save on the final day before the All-Star break, the Miami Marlins have went with a closer by committee approach. In Miami’s first opportunity to get a save, it was Steve Cishek who saved Saturday night’s 2-1 win over the Nationals. But with Cishek having symptoms of the flu and the Marlins clinging to a 5-3 lead on Monday night, Miami called on Mike Dunn to close it out. It was the first career save opportunity for Dunn which he would make good on. Dunn pitched a scoreless 9th on Monday night which concluded with a strikeout of Nationals’ first baseman Adam LaRoche as the 27-year-old lefty picked up his first career save.
Tuesday – Anibal Sanchez (MIA) 4-6, 4.12 ERA vs. Travis Wood (CHC) 4-3, 3.05 ERA
Wednesday – Josh Johnson (MIA) 5-6, 4.28 ERA vs. Jeff Samardzija (CHC) 6-8, 4.71 ERA
Thursday – Mark Buehrle (MIA) 9-8, 3.13 ERA vs. Paul Maholm (CHC) 7-6, 4.33 ERA
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