Right-hander Chris Volstad becomes the latest Chicago pitcher to have a chance to snap the team's now five-game skid today when the Cubs host the Cincinnati Reds to begin a three-game weekend series at Wrigley Field.
Chicago dropped its fifth straight game on Friday in Miami, when Greg Dobbs doubled home the tying and go-ahead runs in the third inning, as the Marlins completed a three-game sweep with a 5-3 win at Marlins Park.
Darwin Barney drove in all three runs for the Cubs.
Jeff Samardzija (2-1) gave up five runs on eight hits and walked five in 3 2/3 innings.
Chicago had not been swept in a three-game series by the Marlins in Florida since September 25-27, 2007.
Volstad, the 16th pick in the 2005 draft by the Marlins, won 32 times in 103 appearances with Florida through the close of 2011 before heading to the Cubs in the deal that sent Carlos Zambrano to Miami on Jan. 5.
The 25-year-old has a no-decision and a loss in two starts this season, allowing 11 hits and seven runs in 11 innings against Milwaukee and St. Louis.
He's walked two and struck out 10 in the two outings, both losses for Chicago.
Volstad is 1-2 in three lifetime meetings with the Reds while posting a 4.34 earned run average in 18 2/3 innings.
Taking the ball for Cincinnati is another former first-round pick - Texas-born Homer Bailey - who's also looking for win No. 1 in start No. 3.
The seventh overall pick in 2004 has lasted no more than six innings in two 2012 performances while being touched for 13 hits and seven runs - including three home runs - against St. Louis and Washington.
He's walked seven and struck out eight in the two losses while Cincinnati was being outscored, 11-2.
Bailey is 2-2 in six career starts against Chicago with a bloated 6.75 ERA in 32 innings.
On Thursday in St. Louis, Brandon Phillips, Ryan Ludwick and Drew Stubbs each homered in support of a strong outing from Bronson Arroyo, and the Reds averted a three-game sweep by doubling up the Cardinals, 6-3, at Busch Stadium.
Arroyo (1-0) scattered five hits, struck out five and did not walk a batter over eight innings. The right-hander's lone mistake was a three-run homer by Matt Holliday.
Phillips and Joey Votto added RBI singles for the Reds, who notched their 9,999th win in franchise history.
Cincinnati captured 11 of its 18 matchups with the Cubs last season.