The Chicago Cubs and starter Travis Wood will look to keep a number of streaks intact this evening in the opener of a three-game series against the Miami Marlins.
The Cubs come into this meeting fresh off a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks, with Sunday's 3-1 win pushing Chicago's overall win streak to a season high-tying four straight.
Chicago has also won 12 of its last 16 overall and six in a row at home, its longest winning streak at Wrigley Field since June 18-July 3, 2009.
Matt Garza paced Sunday's win with seven shutout innings of five-hit ball, also walking a batter while striking out seven. The 28-year-old has allowed three or fewer runs at Wrigley Field in 18 straight starts.
"I felt good today," remarked Garza. "I was able to stay in my mechanics real well and when I didn't I was able to catch myself and adjust quick."
Darwin Barney hit a two-run homer and rookie Anthony Rizzo added an RBI single for the Cubs, who hope that Wood can extend his four-start winning streak this evening.
The left-hander hasn't lost since June 14 and has allowed three earned runs over his winning streak for a 1.01 earned run average. He was charged with three runs -- two earned -- on five hits and four walks over six innings of his most recent win on July 6 at the Mets.
Wood hasn't allowed more than three runs in seven straight outings and is now 4-3 in 10 starts this season with a 3.05 ERA.
The 25-year-old will make his second career start against the Marlins tonight and was hammered for seven runs over just 3 1/3 innings of a loss in the lone previous encounter.
While the Cubs and Wood have been surging, the Marlins come into this opener having won five straight over Chicago. That includes a three-game sweep in the only previous meeting this season from April 17-19 in Miami.
The Marlins earned a split of their four-game series against the National League East-leading Nationals by taking Monday's finale 5-3.
Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run homer and Carlos Lee drove in a pair of runs in the victory, while Carlos Zambrano allowed three runs over six innings to earn the win in his 300th career start.
"We played good as a team," Ramirez said. "I think we've been expecting that since the beginning of the year."
The Marlins hope that the home run will help to get Ramirez going. The third baseman is hitting just .246 on the season and only owns three hits over his past 28 at-bats spanning eight games.
Miami's Anibal Sanchez looks to put some recent struggles behind him tonight and improve on his 4-6 mark and 4.12 ERA in 17 starts this season. The right- hander, though, is only 1-3 with a 6.69 ERA in his last seven starts, making it through seven innings once in that span.
Sanchez struggled at Milwaukee on July 3, allowing five earned runs and 11 hits over five frames. He was better in his last start before the All-Star break five days later, giving up two runs over six frames, but still earned his second straight no-decision. Sanchez was in line for the win, but saw his bullpen yield three runs in the ninth.
The 28-year-old is 1-2 with a 5.66 ERA in four career starts versus the Cubs.