5/25 Lineup & extra bases – UPDATED
Starlin Castro is batting second Friday for the Cubs as they open a three-game series in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. Castro hit .335 in the No. 2 spot last year. Ryan Dempster is on the mound, looking for his first win since last August. Also, Ian Stewart was a late scratch and rookie Adrian Cardenas is starting at third base. Stewart’s left wrist is sore — it’s the same discomfort he’s battled this season. Here’s the lineup:
* The Cubs have lost nine in a row, and have not lost 10 straight since dropping the first 14 games of the 1997 season.
* The Cubs were 12-9 in 21 games from April 21-May 14, but are 2-11 in the last 13 games. They’ve scored 75 runs in the 15 wins, an average of five runs per win, and 80 runs in the 29 losses, for an average of 2.8 runs per game. How bad is it? The Cubs have scored in four of their last 47 innings, and they are batting .231 in the last eight games.
* Pitching matchups:
Friday: Ryan Dempster vs. A.J. Burnett
Saturday: Paul Maholm vs. Kevin Correia
Sunday: Matt Garza vs. Erik Bedard
— Carrie Muskat