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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, May 26th (All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (18-30) at San Francisco Giants (32-18), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Jeff Samardzija (0-4, 1.46) San Francisco - Yusmeiro Petit (3-1, 4.76)
(SportsNetwork.com) - There are tough-luck pitchers. And then there's Jeff Samardzija.
The Chicago right-hander is approaching historical levels of frustrated futility for the Cubs, but he'll take the mound with a chance to end it again on Monday afternoon when the San Francisco Giants play the opener of a three- game series at AT&T Park.
Samardzija has gone 16 starts without a win, a stretch during which the Chicago batters have managed just 2.48 runs per game in support.
His earned run average this season is a stingy 1.46, but he's nonetheless winless in four decisions.
"He's the best pitcher in the league right now - American League, National League, Japanese league," second baseman Darwin Barney said. "The wins will come. It's one of those funny things. We're trying hard. Maybe we're trying too hard for him."
He threw seven scoreless innings Wednesday against the New York Yankees, but the bullpen squandered the lead and the Cubs ultimately lost, 4-3, in 13 innings.
"You take it with how it goes. It doesn't always go the right way," Samardzija said. "We're not wasting anything. With modern technology, every game pretty much gets seen and watched. I don't think it's any secret with what I'm doing. I can get better. I'm doing some things that are good. Let's keep building on that."
He's faced the Giants seven times and is 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA.
Right-hander Yusmeiro Petit makes another start in place of injured teammate Matt Cain for the Giants Monday.
"It's part of my job," Petit said. "Emergency starting is difficult. But I've done it a lot, so it makes it easier."
He was tagged for eight runs in 4 1/3 innings against Pittsburgh on May 5 and was nipped for five more runs in five innings versus Miami on May 16.
In six career meetings with the Cubs, Petit is 2-1 with a 5.23 ERA. Monday will be the first time he's faced them since 2009.
On Sunday in San Diego, Ian Kennedy threw six strong innings as the Padres grabbed a 4-3 victory over the Cubs to earn a split of a four-game set.
Starlin Castro hit a two-run home run and Junior Lake added a solo shot for the Cubs, who had won five of seven. Jason Hammel (5-3) gave up three runs on three hits while walking two and striking out five in 5 2/3 innings.
In San Francisco, Michael Morse knocked in four runs and Madison Bumgarner turned in a gem on the mound as the Giants finished off a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins with an 8-1 rout.
Morse recorded a career-high three doubles to lead San Francisco's offensive barrage, while Bumgarner (6-3) racked up 10 strikeouts and yielded a mere three hits over seven innings of one-run ball to post his fourth consecutive winning decision.
Hunter Pence also had three hits, including a solo homer, and Gregor Blanco went 3-for-4 with a run scored in the Giants' seventh straight interleague win dating back to last season.
San Francisco battered Ricky Nolasco (2-5) for seven runs and nine hits before the Twins starter was lifted after just 4 2/3 innings.
The Giants lost four of seven meetings with the Cubs a season ago.
05/26 10:26:48 ET
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