As the Marlins head back to Miami for a seven-game homestand that will take them into May, they are still searching for their footing. Under first-year manager Mike Redmond, the club is 5-16 following Tuesday's doubleheader split against the Twins and has yet to win twice in a row.
It wouldn't hurt the Cubs, coming off a series loss at the hands of the Reds, to find a little momentum, either. Chicago has lost eight of 10.
Each game brings a new opportunity. On Thursday night at Marlins Park, Miami will send Kevin Slowey to the mound against the Cubs' Edwin Jackson in the opener of a four-game set.
"It seems every day we're right on the edge of turning the corner," Miami infielder Greg Dobbs said. "As tough as it may seem, and as tough as it may look, you have to stay positive. If you let it, it will eat you alive. It will eat you from the inside-out. It's a long season. A lot can happen. We're not going to go 4-16 or 4-17 for the rest of the year. We've just got to buckle down. We've got to execute, and we've got to make things happen.
"Sometimes it's a game of failure, too. This game will humble you and teach you how to deal with those failures, and teach you how to bounce back from adversity."
Slowey has pitched well this season, with a 1.90 ERA and 15-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in four starts, but he is 0-2. The veteran right-hander is still looking for his first big league win since Sept. 18, 2010.
Like the Marlins, the Cubs have gone through a rough April. They're now 6-14 after losing, 1-0, in the series finale against the Reds on Wednesday.
"It's nothing that anyone is panicking over," Jackson said after his last outing. "Clearly, we have to play better and execute better. It's not an issue that anyone is panicking over. I can't speak for everyone, but nobody is panicking. We just have to make the plays when we have a chance."
And like Slowey, Jackson is still working toward his first victory with a new club. The righty is 0-3 with a 4.84 ERA in four starts, although he has racked up 24 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings.
Cubs: Russell still spotless
• Lefty reliever James Russell continued his superb season on Wednesday, pitching yet another scoreless frame in the losing effort. Russell's season ERA remains 0.00. He has three holds and has struck out 10 in 8 2/3 innings.
• Left fielder Alfonso Soriano notched his third three-hit game and fifth multi-hit effort since April 13 on Tuesday, when he went 3-for-4 against the Reds. In his past 10 games, Soriano is 15-for-39 (.384) with three doubles and a home run, bringing his season average from .179 to .282.
Marlins: Brantly's bat catches spark
• Catcher Rob Brantly went 3-for-5 with two doubles and four RBIs in Tuesday's nightcap, notching his second straight multi-hit game to snap a 2-for-27 skid. He has five hits in those contests after producing a total of eight in his first 14 games.
• Right-hander Ryan Webb tossed three scoreless innings of relief in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader. It was the second three-inning stint of his career and first since last June 16 against Tampa Bay. Webb has held the opposition scoreless in four of his last five appearances.
• Jackson went 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA in two outings at Marlins Park last year. Current Marlins are batting .355 and slugging .597 against him in 71 plate appearances.
• Slowey's only other start against the Cubs came on June 12, 2009, in Chicago, as a member of the Twins. He gave up three runs and struck out 10 to pick up the win. Slowey is 5-1 with a 3.20 ERA in his career against National League Central teams and has won five straight decisions, with a 1.98 ERA.