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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, June 16 (All times eastern)

Chicago Cubs (28-39) at Miami Marlins (35-33), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Jason Hammel (6-4, 2.81) Miami - Tom Koehler (5-5, 3.68)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Cubs continue their road trip with a stop at Marlins Park Monday night, as they begin a three-game set with the Miami Marlins.

Chicago is 3-4 on its 10-game road swing, which wraps up with this series. The Cubs won two of three at Philadelphia over the weekend, including Sunday's 3-0 shutout victory. It was the first road series they won in 13 tries this season.

Travis Wood silenced the Phillies bats for eight shutout innings, as he allowed only three hits and had a no-hitter going through 5 1/3. Anthony Rizzo went deep, and Starlin Castro collected three hits and a RBI.

"It's good to win a series on the road," Rizzo said. "We can take that into Miami with us."

This marks the first of 11 straight games that Miami will play against teams currently under .500.

Miami is in the midst of a 10-game homestand, and the team has gone 23-13 inside Marlins Park. The Marlins snapped a three-game slide with Sunday's 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in 10 innings.

Henderson Alvarez pitched seven innings of two-run ball, striking out six. He kept the Marlins in the game until Casey McGehee tied it in the eighth with a two-run double. The third baseman later sealed the win with a 10th-inning sacrifice fly. McGehee has hit safely in a season-high 10 straight games.

"Casey has gotten some huge hits for us," manager Mike Redmond said of McHehee, who is hitting .419 during his 10-game hit streak. "I think he's grateful for the chance he has been given here, and he has made the most of it."

Tom Koehler gets the start for Miami in Monday's opener. Koehler was cruising along with seven strikeouts through five innings in his last outing before running into trouble in the sixth. He went on to yield five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings.

"I was throwing the ball really well early and kind of hit a little bit of a speed bump," Koehler said. "It was unfortunate with the way that I was throwing early on. But I've got to do a better job when innings start to snowball like that of taking a deep breath and get back to executing quality pitches like I was early on."

Cubs starter Jason Hammel lasted just five innings in his last start at Pittsburgh on Wednesday, as he yielded a season-high 11 hits and was charged with four earned runs. The Pirates had at least two baserunners in all five innings.

"A lot of hits given up, up in the zone," Hammel said of his outing. "Obviously, could've been better strikes thrown. It could've been a lot worse. Eleven hits through five innings -- it's amazing they only put up four."

With Chicago 11 1/2 games back in the NL Central, trade rumors have swirled around Hammel, who is 6-4 with a 2.81 ERA in 13 starts after signing a one- year contract with the team in the offseason. He is on pace to eclipse 10 wins for the first time in his nine-year career.

Chicago won two of three against the Marlins at Wrigley Field earlier this month.

06/16 10:43:06 ET

  • NFL: Minnesota at Green Bay

    Tomorrow at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Virginia Tech at UNC

    Saturday at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Alabama at Ole Miss

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  • MLB: San Francisco at Pittsburgh

    Tonight at 8:00 on 620am

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