It was a weird one in Miami Sunday afternoon, especially in the sixth inning when the Marlins offense woke up from its slumber and scored their go-ahead run.
The inning was led off by a pivotal Giancarlo Stanton double, in which he laid off of multiple low and away Jason Hammel breaking balls, before connecting with one to deep center. Miami first basemen Justin Bour, who finished 0-2 with a run and two walks, hit a deep fly ball to right advancing Stanton to third on the very next pitch.
This is when things got weird....
Second basemen Derek Dietrich came to the plate next and was hit on the elbow, his second hit-by-pitch of the game, leading to a challenge by Cubs manager Joe Maddon --- to see if the ball had hit Dietrich's bat. It did not, so the Marlins had two men on the corners and one out for Adeiny Hechavarria.
Adeiny hit a ground ball that surely seemed to end the inning, as he was called out at first, but Marlins manager Don Mattingly chose to challenge the call and made the correct decision when replay showed Hechavarria was clearly safe. Stanton ended up scoring on the play to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead.
Before the hectic bottom-of-the-sixth, Jose Fernandez and Hammel were in a pitching duel. Fernandez (10-3) finished the game with 13 strike-outs, allowing only four hits and one earned run. It was his first win since June 5th against the Mets.
Hammel (7-4) pitched well, but had trouble with his location throughout. He went six innings giving up four hits, two earned runs and two walks, while striking out three.
Both starting pitchers also tallied a hit off of one another. Fernandez a double in the fifth and Hammel a blooper to right in the third.
Martin Prado put the nail-in-the-coffin for the Marlins, with a bases-clearing double in the eighth inning. The hit gave Miami a comfortable 6-1 lead for David Phelps and Brian Ellington to close the game out. The two relievers came into the game and got the job done closing out an impressive series victory over the best team in baseball.
The win puts the Marlins at 41-35 and just 2.5 games back of the division lead. They will travel to Detroit on Tuesday to begin a nine game road trip versus the Tigers, Braves and Mets.
Attendance: 27, 318
Hero of the Game: Derek Dietrich (+.230)
Goat of the Game: Jeff Mathis (-.150)
Play of the Game: Derek Dietrich RBI-double to center in the second inning (+.126)