Record: 31-34. Streak: Won 1
Next home games: vs. St. Louis, June 21-23; vs. Montreal, June 25-27; vs. New York, June 29-July 1.
Reality check: The Marlins went into Chicago with a 30-31 record and feeling pretty good about themselves, but a three-game sweep by the Cubs _ the Marlins' first of the season _ changed that. Manager Rene Lachemann ordered a closed-door meeting, telling the players not to believe their rave reviews. "We've got 98 games left. There's more work in front of us than behind us," 3B Dave Magadan said. "We can't rest on our laurels. There's more work to be done."
Big swinger: After 10-plus seasons in the minors, Mitch Lyden made the most of his first swing in the majors _ a towering homer Wednesday off Chicago's Jose Bautista. "I couldn't have scripted it any better," Lyden said. Lyden became the 67th major-leaguer to homer in his first at-bat, the 38th National Leaguer and the third first-year expansion player. The other two: Toronto's Al Woods (in 1977) and Colorado's Jay Gainer.
Who's hot: P Chris Hammond (7-4), who beat the Phils on Wednesday for his fifth consecutive victory. SS Walt Weiss, .346 (44-for-127) in past 38 games. 1B Orestes Destrade, 27-for-80 (.338) since an 0-for-23 streak. Magadan, 12-for-31 (.387) in past 8 games.
Who's not: P Charlie Hough, six losses in past 7 decisions, four by shutout. C Benito Santiago, 12-for-49 (.245) past two weeks. OF Chuck Carr, 10-for-50 (.200) past two weeks.
Marlins tales: Team officials are optimistic of signing first-round pick Marc Valdes of Tampa Jesuit and the University of Florida. When Luis Aquino left Wednesday's game two batters into the sixth with tightness in his shoulder, it was the first start he didn't last at least six full innings. The Marlins made it to June 16 before getting swept in a series. The 1961 Senators and 1969 Pilots were swept just three times; the 1962 Mets were swept nine times.
_ MARC TOPKIN