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11:20 AM PT12:20 PM MT1:20 PM CT2:20 PM ET14:20 ET18:20 GMT2:20 11:20 AM MST1:20 PM EST1:50 PM VEN22:20 UAE1:20 PM CT, May 9, 2019
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 32,301

Marlins get another crack at never-say-die Cubs

The Chicago Cubs will look to pick up another series victory in the finale of a four-game set against the visiting Miami Marlins on Thursday afternoon.

Chicago won two of the series' first three games and is 9-1 since April 27. The Cubs are coming off back-to-back walk-off wins thanks to homers by Kris Bryant on Tuesday, 5-2, and Jason Heyward on Wednesday, 3-2 in 11 innings.

It was the first time in two decades that Chicago won two straight games on walk-off blasts. The last sequence happened Sept. 12-13, 1998, when Orlando Merced and Mark Grace hit game-ending homers to knock off the Milwaukee Brewers.

"Better late than never," Heyward deadpanned during a postgame interview with WGN-TV that was interrupted by a Gatorade shower. "Great job by us fighting, staying in the game."

The Cubs enter Thursday's series finale a season-high eight games above .500.

The picture is much bleaker for Miami, which has lost 26 of 36 games to start the season. The Marlins have dropped five of six and nine of 11.

Miami manager Don Mattingly acknowledges reality while also trying to keep his team upbeat.

"It's hard to say everything is great when you're 9-and-whatever," Mattingly told reporters earlier this week. "I don't even know what we are. I know it's not very good. It's not a great feeling."

Marlins right-hander Trevor Richards (0-4, 4.10 ERA) will try to pick up his first win of the season in his eighth start. The 25-year-old from the tiny downstate town of Aviston, Ill., pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings during his most recent outing against the Atlanta Braves.

Richards is making his second start against the Cubs. He was pelted earlier this season for five runs on four hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out three and hit a pair of batters.

The Cubs will counter with right-hander Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.79 ERA), who also will make his eighth start.

Expectations were high when Chicago signed him to a six-year, $126 million deal before the start of 2018. But Darvish has gone 3-6 with a 5.33 ERA since then, with injuries and inconsistency plaguing his tenure.

In four career starts against the Marlins, Darvish is 2-1 with a 6.75 ERA. He remains optimistic despite his second straight difficult start to the season. He allowed six hits, five walks and five runs in four innings during his most recent performance against the St. Louis Cardinals.

"The results were no good, but I can fix it for next time," Darvish said to reporters.

Cubs catcher Taylor Davis said Darvish's last outing was not as bad as the box score suggested.

"Yu threw the ball well," Davis said. "The results are going to be misleading, people who didn't watch the game. At the end of the day, he made some really quality pitches."

Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant has reached base safely in 18 consecutive games, which is tied for the second-longest streak of his career. He reached base in 21 straight games during the 2016 campaign.

Marlins third baseman/right fielder Brian Anderson has tallied at least one hit in 12 of 13 career games against the Cubs. He went 1-for-5 on Wednesday night.

--Field Level Media

Updated May 9, 2019

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