Florida’s A.J. Burnett will try to stymie Chicago’s hot bats as the Marlins and Cubs play the finale of their three-game series at Wrigley Field.
Burnett jumped out to a 3-0 record with a 2.43 ERA in April, but has not won a game in seven starts since despite a 3.63 ERA over that span. The hard-throwing right-hander is 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA in two career starts against Chicago.
The Cubs backed Sergio Mitre’s five-hitter with 18 hits in a 14-0 victory over Florida on Tuesday, their biggest margin of victory this season.
Marlins starter Josh Beckett allowed four runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings before being forced to leave with a blister on his right middle finger—a problem that has plagued him in his career.
Aramis Ramirez hit two home runs and drove in four runs for Chicago. With the wind blowing hard out of Wrigley Field, the Cubs took advantage, ending a two-game stretch in which they were outscored 17-2.
The Cubs had 10 extra-base hits, including Derrek Lee’s NL-leading 18th homer. Lee also had two doubles and a run-scoring single, driving in three runs to tie him for the NL lead with 56.
“It was a great day to hit,” Lee said. “The wind was blowing out pretty hard, so if you got it in the air you had a good chance today. It was definitely a great-hitting day.
The Wrigley Field crowd chanted “MVP!” after Lee just missed hitting for the cycle.
“It’s a good feeling,” Lee said. “They’re appreciate what you’re doing and they’re showing their support. It’s a great feeling and it psyches you up a little bit.”
Greg Maddux will take the mound for Chicago on Wednesday. Maddux has an 18-9 career record and 2.60 ERA in 34 career starts against Florida. The veteran right-hander is 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA over his last three starts.