Cubs aiming for more success at home

Cubs aiming for more success at home
August 18, 2013, 1:00 pm
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Paul LaTour

The Cubs can earn their second series win against the St. Louis Cardinals in as many weekends with a victory today at Wrigley Field.

Last weekend in St. Louis, the Cubs (53-69) took two of three three games from the Cardinals (70-52). The teams have split the first two games of this series, which concludes today.

But it’s been much longer since the Cubs have won a series at home. Chicago fans haven’t see that since the Cubs took two of three from the Pittsburgh Pirates from July 5 through 7.

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They face Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright (13-7, 2.71 ERA), who is 5-0 with a 3.97 ERA in 15 appearances (10 starts) at Wrigley Field. On the flip side, Wainwright is winless in his past five starts overall.

“We’ve been struggling at home to score runs, and it ain’t going to be much easier with Wainwright on the mound,” manager Dale Sveum said. “Hopefully we can get some people on and get some big hits.”

Offensive struggles continue for Cubs

Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Cardinals marked the fifth time in the past seven home games the Cubs have been shut out. It was the first time the Cardinals had blanked the Cubs at Wrigley since Sept. 2, 2003.

The Cubs have only scored 11 runs over their past seven games, which includes a 7-0 whipping of the Cardinals in Friday’s series opener. Including yesterday’s game, six of the past seven games here have resulted in shutouts, the first time that’s happened in Wrigley history.

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During that stretch, the Cubs are batting .197 (44-for-223), and only .125 (4-for-32) with runners in scoring position.

This and that

Today marks the 10th consecutive game in which the Cubs have faced a right-handed starter. They haven’t faced a lefty since they beat Cole Hamels 5-2 in Philadelphia on Aug. 7. The trend will likely continue as the Washington Nationals are expected to start four righties in their series beginning Monday. … Catcher Welington Castillo is batting .333 with three doubles, two home runs, six RBI and a .459 on-base percentage in his past 20 games. … Darwin Barney leads Cubs with a .348 batting average and 11 RBIs vs. the Cardinals this season. He’s tied with Castillo for the home run lead with two.