With Matt Garza sidelined due to the flu, the Cubs turn to Chris Volstad to make this afternoon's start in the middle test of a three- game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Not only has Volstad yet to win this season, but the 25-year-old right-hander has dropped his last eight decisions going back to the 2011 season. Winless in his last 16 starts, Volstad hasn't received a victory since July 10 against Houston when he pitched for the Marlins.
Acquired in January in the deal that sent Carlos Zambrano to Miami, Volstad has pitched six innings in each of his last two starts. He's 3-3 with a 4.46 ERA in six lifetime games against the Dodgers.
Chris Capuano is coming off throwing 6 2/3 scoreless frames against Washington last Sunday in a 2-0 victory. The southpaw, who had a season-high nine strikeouts, has had success against the Cubs as evidenced by his 8-3 mark in 14 games (12 starts) to go along with a 3.65 ERA.
Chicago's plan to remove Carlos Marmol from the finishing role and go with a closer-by-committee approach worked on Friday. Rafael Dolis turned in a scoreless ninth for his second save of the year, this after Kerry Wood gave up a pair of runs over one inning, but the Cubs held on to a 5-4 win.
David DeJesus fell a home run shy of the cycle and Alfonso Soriano went 3- for-3 with two RBI for the Cubs. DeJesus finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored, and Joe Mather hit a pinch-hit homer for the Cubs, who were coming off a two-game split in Cincinnati.
They gave up three runs in the ninth and lost 4-3 in 10 innings to the Reds on Thursday.
"We needed this game to bounce back from yesterday when we pretty much had a win then lost it," said DeJesus. "Coming back like this shows the resolve in our team."
Paul Maholm (3-2) scattered three hits and one run over six strong innings for the win.
Jerry Hairston Jr. was 3-for-4 with a solo shot and two RBI for the Dodgers, who have lost three of four. Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp drove in a run each in defeat.
Chad Billingsley (2-2) was charged in the loss for four runs on eight hits over six full frames.
"I made some mistakes over the plate," said Billingsley, "but as far as everything else, I still felt good out there."
Chicago first baseman Bryan LaHair extended his streak to 22 straight games reaching base.
The Cubs have homered in five straight games for the first time since a 10- game stretch, August 2-12 of last season. Chicago has homered in seven of its last nine games (10 homers total) after going deep in just three of its first 17 contests through April 23 (five homers total).
The Cubs last had a winning season series against the Dodgers in 2008 (5-2).