Lester struggles in first start of June
A four-run second inning set the tone for Wednesday’s rubber match against the Miami Marlins, as the Chicago Cubs and left-hander Jon Lester fell to the Fish by a 7-3 final.
In all, Lester (4-4) was charged with half-a-dozen runs on nine hits, including a pair of home runs in the loss. His Miami counterpart, veteran Dan Haren, pitched well, allowing three runs in 5 2/3 frames of work – with two of those coming on a towering blast from Junior Lake.
The Cubs outfielder took the 0-1 pitch from the Marlins right-hander and deposited it deep into the left-field seats for his first homer of the season, cutting the Miami lead to 6-2 in the process. He made a ‘shush’ gesture toward the home dugout while rounding third, prompting a benches-clearing situation in the moments that followed.
Matt Szczur added the third – and final – run of the night later that inning when he singled to score Starlin Castro, pulling Chicago (27-24) within three, but that was as close as the North Siders would get.
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Miami (22-32) opened the scoring on a run-scoring double by J.T. Realmuto in the second against Lester, who went on to allow an RBI single to Adeiny Hechavarria, an infield run-scoring single by Dee Gordon and a final single by Martin Prado that pushed the Marlins’ early lead to 4-0.
Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton launched his 17th home run of the season, a solo shot, in the bottom of the fifth against the Chicago left-hander, who allowed his most runs since his April 13 start against the Cincinnati Reds.
Jeff Baker, a former Cub, also hit a long-ball in the frame, extending the Miami lead to 6-0.
Chicago did not see a single player record multiple hits in the game, while four Marlins hitters had two hits in the series finale.