Cubs-Giants Preview

Spending 19 consecutive days in your home city is a rarity during the season, and the Chicago Cubs took full advantage while adding to their lead for the final NL playoff spot.

They seem to be just as comfortable now that they're back on the road.

Chicago can put more distance between itself and the San Francisco Giants in the wild-card race by winning a seventh straight game Wednesday night.

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The Cubs (73-51) began their extended Windy City stay by sweeping a four-game series against the Giants (66-59) from Aug. 6-9. They played three road games on the South Side against the White Sox in that stretch as they became the first team since Pittsburgh and Montreal in 2001 to play at least 17 straight in its home city.

Chicago went 14-3 during that run, capped by Kris Bryant's walkoff homer to beat Cleveland on Monday, then matched its 2014 win total with an 8-5 victory over San Francisco on Tuesday to open a six-game trip.

Kyle Schwarber hit a three-run homer and is batting .342 in 21 road games since making his major league debut June 17. He's the first Cub since 1900 to hit 12 homers in the first 42 games of his career.

The rookie went 1 for 19 over his previous five.

''I've been struggling lately but I felt good in the box,'' Schwarber said. ''I still have to learn to put yesterday behind and move on. We're just trying to maintain our focus throughout the game.''

Miguel Montero had a two-run shot and Starlin Castro also homered while finishing with three hits for Chicago, which has won 21 of 25 and leads the Giants by 7 1/2 games for the NL's last postseason slot. It also pulled to within two games of wild card-leading Pittsburgh, which fell to Miami earlier Tuesday.

San Francisco has dropped six of eight to fall further back of the second wild card, which it held by one-half game over the Cubs prior to their series at Wrigley Field. The Giants' best shot of returning to the postseason appears to be winning the NL West, in which they trail Los Angeles by 2 1/2 games.

They had won 13 of their previous 15 at AT&T Park.

Jake Peavy (3-6, 4.35 ERA) pitched the finale of the last series with the Cubs, throwing five innings of a 2-0 loss. He's allowed nine runs and 16 hits in 11 2-3 innings over two starts since, falling 4-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday.

The right-hander had posted a 1.59 ERA over his previous three starts prior to facing Chicago.

Peavy is 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts against the Cubs since joining the Giants, and he'll oppose Kyle Hendricks (6-5, 4.03) in this contest.

The Cubs have won Hendricks' last five starts, but his ERA has jumped more than a quarter of a run while he's posted a 7.24 mark over his last three. The only time the right-hander went beyond the fifth in that stretch was when he got one out in the sixth of an 8-6 win over San Francisco on Aug. 8.

Hendricks is 1-1 with a 6.06 ERA in his last three on the road.