The Chicago Cubs will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field by trying to extend their longest winning stretch of the season.
Amid the pageantry of the day, Jeff Samardzija hopes to end his hard-luck drought and help the Cubs to a third consecutive victory Wednesday against the reeling Arizona Diamondbacks.
On April 23, 1914, the Chicago Federals beat the Kansas City Packers 9-1 in the first game on the field at the corner of Addison Street and Clark Street that was known then as Weeghman Park. The Cubs' franchise has enjoyed many memorable moments in this park but has never won a World Series there and hasn't played in one since 1945.
Despite the home team's century of futility, Wrigley Field still remains one of the most iconic venues in all of professional sports.
"Wrigley Field is a constant," said MLB commissioner Bud Selig, who will join past Cubs stars and management in attendance Wednesday.
"It's history. Everything about it means so much to so many people, and I'm one of them."
A winning team would mean even more to most Cubs fans, but that could be a stretch with this year's club sporting a 7-12 record.
However, Chicago has won three of four since a five-game skid and recorded back-to-back victories for the first time since Sept. 9-10 while outscoring Arizona 14-3 in the first two of this four-game set.
The Cubs haven't won three in a row since sweeping the Giants in San Francisco from July 26-28, and their last three-game run at home was July 6-9.
Mike Olt hit a three-run homer and Jason Hammel allowed a run over seven innings of Tuesday's 9-2 rout of the Diamondbacks (5-18), who have dropped four in a row and 10 of 11.
''We didn't mount any pressure again offensively so I don't know what to tell ya," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson, whose team has batted .172 while being outscored 18-4 in the last three games.
Olt is 2 for 15 with eight strikeouts in his last four games but both hits left the park.
Teammate Starlin Castro is batting .386 (22 for 57) during a 14-game home hitting streak dating to last season.
The Cubs hope the festive atmosphere will help Samardzija (0-2, 1.29 ERA), who is 0-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 10 starts since winning at San Diego on Aug. 24.
The right-hander has not allowed more than two earned runs while lasting seven innings in every one of his four starts this season. He gave up three runs - one earned - during a 4-1 loss to Cincinnati on Friday.
''You go out and pitch and do your job. You control what you can control," said Samardzija, who has received four runs of support while on the mound in 2014.
He is 0-1 with a 5.82 ERA in three starts against Arizona, which counters with Wade Miley (2-2, 4.35).
The left-hander bounced back from allowing five runs in five innings of an 8-5 home loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 12 by yielding a solo homer and one other hit over six of a 4-2, 12-inning victory at Chavez Ravine on Friday.
Miley is 2-1 with a 3.57 ERA against the Cubs, but he allowed seven runs and three homers over seven innings of a 7-2 loss in his only appearance at Wrigley on May 31.
Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt is 4 for 8 with an RBI in this series, and he's 8 for 16 with six RBIs in his last four games at Wrigley Field after he went 3 for 15 without an RBI in his first four there.
Goldschmidt is 0 for 6 with four walks and six strikeouts against Samardzija.