National League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, June 1st (All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (18-32) at San Francisco Giants (27-24), 10:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Paul Maholm (4-3, 4.62) San Francisco - Madison Bumgarner (5-4, 3.14)
(Sports Network) - A big three-game sweep has helped the Cubs put their recent 12-game losing streak a little further behind them.
Starter Paul Maholm hopes to do the same tonight when he toes the rubber for Chicago in the first of four straight against the San Francisco Giants.
The Cubs halted their longest losing streak since 1997 by taking Monday's opener with the Padres and didn't slow down, plating 24 runs in recording the three-game sweep. They needed some heroics to win Wednesday's finale and got that off the bat of Darwin Barney, who hit a walk-off, two-run homer in an 8-6 triumph.
Barney finished 2-for-3 with three RBI and three runs scored for Chicago, which plated all eight of its runs with two outs and rallied from a three-run fifth-inning deficit.
Ryan Dempster remained without a win after giving up a season-high six runs over 4 1/3 innings. Coming into the game, the Cubs had scored an average of 1.98 runs per nine innings pitched for Dempster this season, the second-lowest average in the majors.
"I just kept putting us behind the eight ball and they just kept battling back," Dempster said. "That was outstanding, Barney hitting that walk-off."
Maholm will now try to extend Chicago's first three-game winning streak of the season and end his personal three-game drought.
The 29-year-old lefty only gave up three runs over 25 innings during a four- game winning streak, but has allowed 11 runs over his last three outings while producing an 0-1 record.
Maholm did not factor into a 3-2 loss against his former Pirates club on Saturday, yielding two runs on four hits and five walks over five innings. He is 4-3 with a 4.62 earned run average in nine starts in 2012.
The former first-round pick is 2-1 with a 3.10 ERA in eight career starts with the Giants.
One hitter that figures to challenge Maholm tonight is the Giants' Melky Cabrera, who went 1-for-4 in Wednesday's loss to the Diamondbacks and tied Randy Winn's San Francisco club record for the most hits in a month with 51. Winn accomplished his feat in September of 2005.
Cabrera is hitting .373 on the season after batting .429 in May, a month that featured seven games in which he had three or more hits.
"It's been really amazing what he's done this month," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Cabrera. "This guy's done everything, and beyond that I don't know if there was a better hitter in May. It's been fun to watch, the things he has been doing at the plate, defensively and just his overall play."
Cabrera couldn't get the Giants a win in Wednesday's 4-1 loss that snapped a three-game win streak. Ryan Theriot had two hits and drove in the only run for San Francisco, while Tim Lincecum took his sixth loss of the season despite giving up just two runs -- one earned -- over seven innings. He did walk five.
"He threw the ball well," Bochy said. "He should feel good about his outing, we just couldn't get any runs for him."
Madison Bumgarner probably hasn't felt too good after his last few outings and looks to win for the first time in five starts tonight.
The lefty posted a 1.54 ERA over a five-game win streak from April 12-May 5, but is 0-3 in his last four starts with a 4.33 ERA. He lost in Miami on Saturday, touched for five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits over six innings. He did strike out seven one outing after fanning 10 in a no-decision versus the Brewers.
"He wasn't as sharp today as he usually is," said Bochy about Bumgarner.
Bumgarner, 22, is 5-4 with a 3.14 ERA in 10 starts this year while going 2-1 with a 2.03 ERA in four career starts against the Cubs.
The Cubs won five of nine versus the Giants a season ago, winning the only series played in San Francisco.
06/01 10:41:24 ET