The Miami Marlins continued their six game roadtrip on Tuesday evening, when they battled the Chicago Cubs in game two of a three game series at Wrigley Field. Chicago dominated in the first game of the series, and they couldn’t replicate that dominance tonight. However, behind a strong start from Jason Hammel, the Cubs pulled out a 3-2 victory, as they’ve now won the first two games of this series.The Marlins got a decent start out of Jose Fernandez, but it wasn’t nearly enough to get past the best team in the MLB. Chicago was led tonight by Dexter Fowler, who was involved in all three of the Cubs runs.
Chicago got on the board in the bottom of the 1st inning, when Willson Contreras singled to Adeiny Hechavarria, which was enough to score the speedy Fowler as Chicago took the early 1-0 advantage. Two innings later, Chicago got on the board again, when an Anthony Rizzo sacrifice fly drove in Fowler, giving Chicago the 2-0 lead. Fowler again would be the thorn to the Marlins side in the fifth inning, when he singled to right, which scored former Marlin Chris Coghlan. Hammel had allowed zero runs and four hits after 6.0 innings of work, but he was pulled after being replaced by a pinch-hitter.
Pedro Strop was brought on to replace Hammel, and that’s when the Marlins got back into the game. Hechavarria singled to left, which scored Derek Dietrich, and J.T. Realmuto singled to center, which scored Chris Johnson. All of a sudden, Miami was only down 3-2. The Marlins had two runners on base when Christian Yelich came to the plate; unfortunately, Coghlan made a diving catch which saved a couple of runs and ended the inning. Miami never knocked on the door again, and Chicago called on newly acquired pitcher Aroldis Chapman to close the game.
He hit 104 MPH on the radar gun, pitching a perfect ninth inning as the Cubs defeated the Marlins, 3-2. Chicago has now won six of their last seven games. Fernandez struck out eight batters, but he allowed three runs and eight hits in 6.0 innings pitched. Fernandez has lost consecutive starts for the first time since his rookie season in 2013. Fowler went 3-4 with one RBI, two runs scored, and he also stole a base.
Dietrich went 2-3 with a run scored and a walk. Ichiro was put in to pinch-hit for Fernandez, and he remains stuck at 2,298 hits after striking out. Miami still retains a 0.5 game over the St. Louis Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card, after St. Louis lost to the Cincinnati Reds. These two squads will meet for the rubber match of the series tomorrow afternoon at 2:20 ET, as Miami looks to salvage this series with a win.
Hero of the Game: Jason Hammel (0.31)
Goat of the Game: Pedro Strop (-0.19)
Play of the Game: J.T. Realmuto singles to right, Chris Johnson scores (.134)