(SportsNetwork.com) – The perpetually skidding Chicago Cubs return to Wrigley Field for the first of a three-game series on Tuesday night, when they’ll host the suddenly red-hot New York Mets.
The Cubs won four times over a 10-game road trip that featured frequent offensive power outages and resulted in three shutout losses and five games in which they lost by four runs or more.
The most recent of those losses came Sunday at Milwaukee, as they were dealt a 9-0 blow and first baseman Anthony Rizzo was tossed for debating a third- strike call against him.
“I was very frustrated,” Rizzo said. “I’m going to move on from it.”
Chicago’s last homestand at Wrigley was a successful one and yielded three wins in five games in mid-May against the Brewers and the New York Yankees.
The Cubs turn to Jake Arrieta in the opener in hopes he can return to the form that had him allowing two runs in 10 innings over two starts. In his most recent outing, however, he was nicked for four runs in seven innings in a 4-0 loss at San Francisco.
In one career meeting with the Mets, while he was pitching for the Baltimore Orioles, Arrieta allowed four runs in seven innings of a 5-0 loss in 2012.
New York enters after having won four times on a five-game trip to Philadelphia, including an 11-2 triumph in Monday’s finale that was its sixth in seven games overall.
Shortstop Wilmer Flores was the difference-maker with a grand slam and six runs batted in.
“I just want to prove to them that I can do the job,” Flores said. “I know I’m good and I can do this.”
Mets lefty Zack Wheeler gets the start while coming off a 4-1 defeat of the Phillies on Thursday, when he allowed four hits and a run in 6 1/3 innings.
The victory ended a drought that hadn’t produced a victory since April 14.
He has never faced the Cubs.
On Monday in Philadelphia, Bartolo Colon (5-5) earned the victory after hurling seven-plus innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks with five strikeouts. David Wright and Curtis Granderson each knocked in a pair of runs in the win.
On Sunday in Milwaukee, Kyle Lohse (7-1) allowed just three hits while striking out six to help him win his seventh straight decision. It took him just 93 pitches to capture his 11th career complete game.
After coming off his first win of the season, Jeff Samardzija (1-5), who brought a league leading 1.68 ERA into the game, was tagged for eight runs on eight hits and two walks in just three innings of work.
“Jeff had one of his rare bad starts,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “It was just one of those days.”
The Mets and Cubs split six meetings last season.