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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, June 9 (All times Eastern)

Chicago Cubs (25-35) at Pittsburgh Pirates (29-33), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Edwin Jackson (4-5, 4.59) Pittsburgh - Charlie Morton (2-7, 3.31)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Don't look now, but the Chicago Cubs are actually hot.

The Cubs will try to transfer recent home success to the road on Monday, when they travel to PNC Park to open a four-game series with the Pittsburgh Prates.

Chicago enters after winning five of six during a homestand at Wrigley Field, though its winning streak ended on Sunday when the Cubs lost a 4-3 decision to Miami.

"These guys should keep their heads up," manager Rick Renteria said. "They're very disappointed right now because we felt like we were on the cusp of being able to have a perfect homestand."

Pittsburgh has taken two of three in a pair of three-game series with Chicago in 2014, and the Cubs have lost nine of 11 at PNC Park while managing 21 runs and a .199 batting average.

Veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson gets the call for Chicago after facing the Pirates in each of the aforementioned series this season and combining to toss 10 innings while allowing seven earned runs.

He's allowed no more than three runs in five of six starts recently and was a 5-4 winner over the New York Mets on Wednesday after allowing one earned run in five innings.

In his career against Pittsburgh, he's 6-2 with a 3.63 earned run average in 12 starts.

Jackson is opposed by Pirates righty Charlie Morton, who's been particularly stingy against the Cubs in Pittsburgh.

Morton is 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA in his last four meetings with them at PNC Park, including an April 2 game in which he threw six scoreless innings. He faced them again in Chicago on April 8 at Wrigley Field after allowing six runs in six innings.

He's been effective against all foes in his last three starts, winning a pair of decisions and compiling a 2.81 ERA. Most recently, he gave up three hits and two runs in five innings while defeating San Diego, 10-3, last Monday.

On Sunday in Chicago, Giancarlo Stanton scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch with two down in the eighth inning, as Miami pulled out a 4-3 decision in the finale of a three-game series.

Nate Schierholtz produced a two-run triple and Luis Valbuena knocked in the other run for the Cubs. Pedro Strop (0-3) surrendered the deciding runs in the eighth to take the loss.

In Pittsburgh, Jonathan Lucroy hit a ground-rule double that was picked up by a fan in the seventh inning and scored the game's only run on a ground out, lifting the Milwaukee Brewers to a 1-0 victory over the Pirates.

The Pirates had a runner thrown out at first base in the first inning on the first of two key plays that were reviewed in a game that featured just nine hits, seven given up by starters Yovani Gallardo and Jeff Locke.

Locke (0-1) was in command for much of his seven innings, giving up three hits and one walk and striking out five.

06/09 10:32:32 ET