6/16 Extra bases & lineup

* Jeff Samardzija enters Saturday’s night game riding a four-game hitting streak, and he’s driven in a run in three of his last four starts. He’s the first Cubs pitcher with a four-game hitting streak since Carlos Zambrano, who also hit in four straight, July 22-Aug. 6, last season. As far as pitching goes, Samardzija was 2-0 with a 1.03 ERA in four starts from April 24-May 13 but is just 1-3 with a 5.59 ERA in his last five starts.

* Lefty Jon Lester starts for the Red Sox Saturday. The Cubs are batting .222 against left-handed pitching, third lowest in the NL, and they have a 3-13 record against left-handed starters.

* The Cubs have 51 stolen bases this season, third-most in the NL. Last year, they had 32 before the All-Star break. Only the Marlins (63) and Padres (56) have more steals.

* Saturday’s lineup:

Johnson RF

Barney 2B

Castro SS

Soriano LF

Baker 1B

Mather CF

Castillo C

Valbuena 3B

Samardzija P

* Ryan Dempster now has a 22 scoreless innings streak, longest by a Cubs pitcher since Big Z also had a 22 inning stretch in May 2004. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Dempster is the first Cubs starter to deliver three straight outings of at least seven shutout innings since Ken Holtzman threw three straight shutous in May 1969.

* Friday’s win, in which the Cubs made three errors, marked the first time they have shutout their opponent despite three errors in 47 years. The last time was July 11, 1965, when they blanked the Cardinals, 6-0, in the first game of a doubleheader.

* Note: The Red Sox scratched Josh Beckett from Sunday’s game, and Franklin Morales will start in his place.

– Carrie Muskat

1 Comment

Starting second in the line up! :D

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