The Miami Marlins will go for a three-game sweep on the road when they visit the Chicago Cubs on Sunday afternoon.
Miami is coming off a pair of blowout wins over Chicago after posting a 10-2 victory Friday and an 11-1 victory the following day. The Marlins have out-hit the Cubs 20-7 in the series.
It has been a welcome turnaround for Miami, which entered the series with a 13-25 road record. The Marlins will look to record three straight road wins for the first time since April 10-14, when they won four straight away from home.
“We’re playing well right now, not giving up runs and putting a lot of runs on the board,” Marlins outfielder Adam Duvall said. “We’re going to have to win some tight ballgames down the road, but we want to try and score as many runs as we can to take the pressure off the pitcher, and that’s what we’ve done the past couple of days.”
Duvall has played a key role in the Marlins’ recent success.
The 32-year-old slugger from Louisville has hit four home runs in his past two games, with two long balls in Friday’s series opener and two more Saturday. He has 16 homers and 52 RBIs in 61 games this season.
Duvall is the third player in Marlins history to post back-to-back games with multiple home runs. The other two players to accomplish the feat are Giancarlo Stanton in 2016 and Derrek Lee in 2002.
As the Marlins look to stay hot at the plate, the Cubs are desperate to jump-start their lagging offense.
In their past seven games, the Cubs have scored 14 runs. They have exceeded two runs only once during that span, and that barely was the case as they topped out at three runs Wednesday in a loss to the New York Mets.
Cubs infielder Eric Sogard said he and his teammates had the ability to snap out of their slump.
“We need to kind of do those smaller things,” Sogard said. “Work at-bats, work walks, get guys over and kind of do a little small ball, compared to just relying on the home run all the time. We’ve got to find other ways to win.”
Cubs manager David Ross agreed.
“It’s not all about exit ‘velo’ all the time and launch angle,” Ross said. “Sometimes it’s just about, batting average is still a thing. When you find a way to get a hit, it can be extremely valuable in a lot of scenarios.”
Cubs right-hander Alec Mills (2-1, 6.11 ERA) is scheduled to make his 15th appearance and his third start of the season. He gave up three runs in 4 1/3 innings in his last appearance Tuesday against the Mets.
This will be Mills’ first career start against the Marlins.
Miami will counter with right-hander Zach Thompson (1-1, 2.25), who will make his third career start. He gave up two runs in three innings against the Boston Red Sox in his debut on June 7, and he quickly improved with five scoreless innings in his second outing against the Atlanta Braves on June 12.
–Field Level Media