Miami (25-27) at Chicago (22-28)

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  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Wed May 30, 2007
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The Florida Marlins are getting closer to .500 thanks to their recent play on the road. The Chicago Cubs, meanwhile, can’t seem to win anywhere.

The Marlins try for the first three-game sweep at Wrigley Field in franchise history Wednesday when they wrap up their series with the Cubs.

After losing 11 of its first 17 road games this season, Florida (25-27) has won five straight and seven of eight away from Dolphin Stadium. This is the Marlins’ longest road winning streak since reeling off six consecutive victories April 17-30, 2005.

Florida won Monday’s series opener 5-3, and defeated the Cubs 9-4 on Tuesday to win its sixth straight game over Chicago (22-28) overall.

This is the third time in Florida’s 15-year history it has won the first two games of a three-game set on Chicago’s North side, but it lost the finale on both previous occasions.

Josh Willingham had a three-run double in the eighth inning on Tuesday, and is 8-for-18 (.444) with three doubles and five RBIs during the road winning streak.

Sergio Mitre (2-2, 1.89 ERA) looks to continue his outstanding pitching - and get a win for a change, too - when he takes the hill.

Mitre allowed nine runs in 11 innings in his first two starts of the season before going on the disabled list with a blister on his right middle finger. Since he was activated on May 5, though, he has yielded just five earned runs in 36 1-3 innings over five starts.

Despite his 1.24 ERA since coming off the DL, Mitre has gone just 2-0 in those games.

The right-hander allowed an unearned run and struck out a season-high eight in 7 2-3 innings of a 6-2 loss to the New York Mets on Friday.

“It’s not bad luck,” Mitre told the Marlins’ official Web site. “Like I’ve said before, my job is to try to keep the team in the ballgame - the outcome, whatever happens, we want to win. My job is to keep the team in the ballgame, and hopefully we come out with the win.”

Mitre, who spent his first three seasons in the majors with Chicago, is making his first start against his former team.

The Cubs have lost three straight, and seven of nine to fall a season-high six-games under .500.

Chicago’s struggling bullpen gave up four runs on Tuesday, and has allowed 12 runs in 15 2-3 innings over the last five games.

“That might be our worst game of the year,” manager Lou Piniella said Tuesday.

Left-hander Ted Lilly (4-2, 3.20) will try to get the Cubs back on track.

Lilly gave up five runs, six hits and a season-high four walks in a season-low 4 1-3 innings of a 9-8 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, although he did not record a decision.

Despite the rough outing, Lilly has not lost since allowing two runs in seven innings to St. Louis on April 20.

He is 0-2 with a 4.60 ERA in three career starts against Florida, but has not faced the Marlins since 2003.

Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo’s streak of four straight multihit games ended Tuesday, but he is 4-for-5 with three homers in his career against Lilly.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Mitre NYY vs. T. Lilly LAD
5-8 Record 15-8
4.65 ERA 3.83
80 K 174
41 BB 55
1.48 WHIP 1.14


Wednesday, May 30