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Chicago Cubs (40-42) at Atlanta (47-37) 7:05 pm EDT

7/6/2005

Chicago Cubs (40-42) at Atlanta (47-37), 7:05 pm EDT

ATLANTA (Ticker) - Mark Prior makes his third start since
returning from a broken elbow when he and the reeling Chicago
Cubs carry a six-game losing streak into the third of four games
with the Atlanta Braves.

Prior (5-2, 2.86 ERA) made a triumphant return from his injury
with six scoreless innings against the Chicago White Sox on June
26 but was less impressive Friday.

He gave up three runs in five innings in a 4-3 setback to the
Washington Nationals, his first loss since May 1.

The 6-5 righthander will be called upon to limit the Braves if
the Cubs' offensive struggles continue. They were limited to
eight hits in a 5-1 loss to Atlanta on Tuesday and have scored
just 16 runs during the six-game slide.

Breaking out of the slump may not come easily for Chicago as
All-Star first baseman Derrek Lee was forced to leave Tuesday's
game with right shoulder pain. He will be re-evaluated
Wednesday.

The Braves give the ball to All-Star John Smoltz (9-5, 2.68),
who has won five straight starts after a 9-1 win over the
Philadelphia Phillies on Friday. He gave up a run and five hits
in six innings, striking out seven and walking one.

Smoltz is 15-4 with a 2.83 ERA lifetime against the Cubs and has
a 2.39 ERA in eight starts at home this year.