Willis Takes Mound for Marlins at Wrigley Field Print
Tuesday, 29 May 2007 02:00
MLB Headline News

Cubs Slumping

The Florida Marlins' road woes appear to be a thing of the past. They'll have their ace on the mound Tuesday to try and lead them to their fifth straight win away from home.

Dontrelle Willis tries to continue his road success at one of his favorite venues when he starts for the Marlins in the middle contest of a three-game series with the slumping Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Oddsmakers have made Chicago -135 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 10ev total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 53% of bets for this game have been placed on Florida -125 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Florida (24-27) opened an 11-game road trip with a 5-3 victory over the Cubs on Memorial Day. The Marlins were just 6-11 on the road through May 14, but have won six of seven away from Dolphin Stadium since then.

"It's a good way to start the trip," closer Kevin Gregg told the Marlins' official Web site. "If that doesn't get us pumped up the rest of this road trip, then we need to check ourselves."

Florida is looking to win five straight road games for the first time since winning six in a row April 17-30, 2005. Monday's victory was also the fifth straight for the Marlins over Chicago (22-27).

Willis (6-3, 4.80 ERA) is 4-1 with a 3.34 ERA in five road starts this season, and has been even more impressive in his career at Wrigley Field, going 2-1 with a 1.60 ERA in five starts.

In his last outing Thursday, the emotional left-hander began shouting at the Philadelphia dugout while coming off the mound, after he thought he was thrown at intentionally while batting in the previous inning. Benches cleared, but Willis was able to calm down and throw 6 1-3 innings, allowing three runs in a 5-4, 11-inning victory.

Chicago, meanwhile, has lost six of its last eight games and 12 of 18.

Jason Marquis (5-1, 2.60) takes the mound Tuesday seeking his first win in nearly three weeks.

Marquis has won his last five decisions, but hasn't recorded a victory since throwing a shutout against Pittsburgh on May 9. The right-hander pitched well enough to earn a win Thursday against San Diego, allowing one run and five hits in seven innings, but did not get the decision in Chicago's 3-1 victory.

"I feel good with where I'm at," Marquis told the Cubs' official Web site. "With my delivery and my confidence and the way I've been approaching hitters, I'm going to try to stay there and execute pitches to the best of my ability."

Marquis has struggled against the Marlins, 4-3 with a 6.83 ERA in 15 career games, including eight starts.

Alfonso Soriano was hitless in five at-bats on Monday, after batting .429 (9-for-21) during his previous five games. He'll try and get back on track against Willis, against whom he is 7-for-13 (.538) with a homer and a double lifetime.

by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us

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