Marcell Ozuna came through with a clutch bases-loaded, three-run double off Kyle Hendricks in the bottom of the fifth and that base hit proved to be enough for the Miami Marlins, as the club bounced back, topping the Chicago Cubs 5-2 Tuesday night.
Hendricks seemed to be on his way to his second victory of the season, with a 2-1 lead going into the fifth inning. However, by the time that frame drew to a close, the contest had a very different feel.
Miami (21-32) started off the inning with two straight singles, one by pitcher Brad Hand and the second, a bunt by Dee Gordon. A walk to Martin Prado followed, loading the bases for Giancarlo Stanton. Hendricks set the Marlins slugger down on strikes before retiring Justin Bour for the second out, setting up Ozuna’s go-ahead three-run double.
A.J. Ramos came in for the ninth and the Cubs, once again, tried to rally. Starlin Castro led off with a single and Addison Russell followed with a walk. Matt Szczur, who was promoted earlier in the day from Triple-A Iowa, struck out for the first out of the inning, but another base hit followed.
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Chris Coghlan, who co-editor Nicholas Blazek featured recently in a piece, singled to right. On the play, Castro held up at third base, prompting a baserunning blunder by Russell, ending the short-lived rally.
Ramos closed out the game for the Marlins with a Miguel Montero strikeout to secure the 5-2 win. The Miami right-hander now has five saves on the season in seven attempts.
In the bottom of the seventh, Stanton added an insurance run via a mammoth home run to right-field–his 16th long-ball on the season.
Early on, Hendricks (1-2, 3.99 ERA) was in control and hitting his spots set up for him. His change-up caused fits for the Marlins hitters, accounting for all seven of his strikeouts recorded. Hendricks finished the game with six innings pitched, seven hits, four runs and a pair of walks.
Hand pitched very well in only his third start of the season for the Marlins. He finished with six inning of work, allowing two runs, six hits, two walks, and two Ks.
The Marlins jumped on the board first with a ground-rule double by Adeiny Hechavarria, scoring Ozuna.
Chicago answered back in the top of the third on a hard line-drive to right field by Anthony Rizzo, scoring Dexter Fowler to tie the game 1-1. Junior Lake followed with a double of his own, scoring Rizzo to put the Cubs up 2-1.
The Cubs and Jon Lester (4-3, 3.30 ERA) will look for a series win in the finale against Miami. Veteran righty Dan Haren (5-2, 3.03 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Marlins.
Haren has been the best pitcher for the Marlins this season and he’s been especially tough at home with a 2-0 record with a 1.45 ERA. Against the Cubs, Haren is 2-3 with a 5.71 ERA in seven career starts.
Lester has compiled seven-straight quality starts for the Cubs and recorded his second double-digit strikeout performance in his last start against the Nationals. Over his career, Lester is 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA in two starts against Miami.
The first pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. CT. The game can be seen on WPWR and heard on WBBM 780.