"What we went through the first two months was tough to handle, wins and losses-wise," manager Dale Sveum said before Sunday's 3-1 win. "But I give those guys credit, 'cause they kept their heads up every day and you never saw a different clubhouse going into [batting practice] or anything like that. It was the same group of guys. You couldn't really tell we lost the day before or the time we lost 12 in a row."
Left-hander Travis Wood (4-3, 3.05 ERA), who has won four consecutive starts, will take the mound for Chicago (36-52), with the first pitch at Wrigley Field slated for 8:05 p.m. ET. Righty Anibal Sanchez (4-6, 4.12 ERA) is set to take the rubber for Miami (43-46).
The Cubs hope Wood continues his recent streak. In his last four starts, Wood has allowed just three earned runs over 26 2/3 innings. He's allowed three earned runs or fewer in nine of his first 10 starts of 2012.
Sanchez is seeking his first win since June 27 after back-to-back no-decisions. He gave up just two runs over six innings in his last outing against the Cardinals, but in the ninth inning, Heath Bell blew his sixth save of the season.
For Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, the series marks his first trip back to Chicago as an opposing manager, though it's obviously not against his former club. Guillen was the skipper of the White Sox from 2004-11, and also played for them from 1985-1997.
Right-hander Carlos Zambrano, the former Cubs hurler, is also with Miami, but is not scheduled to pitch in the series after starting in Monday's win against the Nationals.
"I love the city," Guillen said of Chicago. "I grew up in the city. My kids are there. There is something special in that city for me. I just want to be next to Carlos. That is going to be fun. Wrigley Field and Carlos Zambrano? I might tell him not to shag and to stay in the clubhouse. That is a good thing about Wrigley Field. People go there and have fun."
Marlins: Guillen calls Johnson over pine tar incident
After an incident in Sunday's game involving Guillen and Nationals rookie phenom Bryce Harper, the Marlins skipper phoned Nationals manager Davey Johnson on Sunday night.
Guillen had a problem with the amount of pine tar on Harper's bat on Sunday, and alerted Washington third-base coach Bo Porter and home-plate umpire Marty Foster. When Harper stepped to the plate a few innings later, Guillen said the outfielder pointed his bat toward him in Miami's dugout, which the skipper took offense to.
"[Guillen] called me," Johnson said on Monday. "He said it wasn't a big deal and enough said about it. It was an interesting exchange going on, but that's Oz. ... It was a pretty brief call. It wasn't a big issue with him."
Guillen's memory of his phone call differed.
"I tried to call him, and he told me to get the [expletive] away from me," Guillen said. "I don't think Davey understands why I called him. I just called to say, 'I don't want to make a big deal about this. I just think he did something he shouldn't.' I love Davey and I think he is one of the best baseball men in the game."
An MRI exam revealed that Marlins reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo has a sprained right ulnar collateral ligament, and there is no timetable for his return. The right-hander sustained the injury while pitching in a rehab game with Triple-A New Orleans on Saturday. Formerly known as Leo Nunez, Oviedo is almost finished serving his eight-week suspension for playing under a false identity, but it appears his return to the big leagues will be delayed.
"I hope it's nothing bad," Guillen said. "This kid went through [a lot] for the last year, and if something happens to his arm, that's very sad. I think about him first and the team later. This kid has gone through a lot of bad stuff in order to come back."
Cubs: Stewart happy to be with teammates
Though he cannot yet play after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, Cubs third baseman Ian Stewart is happy to be with his teammates in Chicago. There is no timetable for his return to the field, but he will get his sling removed in a couple of weeks. It's unclear if Stewart will play again this season.
"The best thing for me is coming here, even though there's not anything for me to do," Stewart said over the weekend. "There's no icing, there's no treatment or anything. It's just nice to be around the team and feel like I'm a part of it still. I could very easily just be at home watching the games on TV, but that gets old."
Before undergoing surgery, Stewart had been bothered by his wrist for several years.
"Over those two or three years, there's a lot of cortisone shots, a lot of MRIs, X-rays, with nothing ever showing up," he said. "It had been weighing on me a lot, especially over here, being with a new team and wanting to prove myself."
In one career start against the Marlins, Travis Wood is 0-1 with a 18.90 ERA.
Sanchez is 1-2 with a 5.66 ERA in four career starts against the Cubs.
The Cubs are unbeaten in their last five series (4-0-1). It's the first time the club has accomplished such a feat since September 2008.