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Marlins dig out of early deficit, rally in 9th to steal 6-5 win over Cubs

Miami’s pitching staff flirted with danger in seemingly every inning, but kept it close enough until a patient, small-ball rally put them ahead for good.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Chicago Cubs Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The Marlins absolutely stunned the Cubs on Monday night, trailing for nearly the entire game, but rallying for three runs in the ninth inning to squeak by with the 6-5 victory.

Sandy Alcantara: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 5 K, 1 HR (97 pitches)

Cole Hamels: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HR (93 pitches)

Seeking his first win since March 31, Alcantara immediately put that in serious doubt. In the bottom of the first, Anthony Rizzo deposited a 2-1 fastball deep into the Chicago twilight. It was the star’s 200th career home run:

The Cubs followed with a double (Javier Báez), run-scoring single (Willson Contreras) and walk (Jason Heyward). That forced an uncomfortably early mound visit from pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. Alcantara did settle down and kept the deficit reasonable at 3-0, but required 40 pitches in the inning to do so.

Brian Anderson’s double in the third got the Fish on the scoreboard.

Though still stuck in a career-long hitless streak, Starlin Castro contributed a sac fly to make it 3-2.

Alcantara was far from his peak form during the middle innings, continuing to get hit hard and issue free passes. But credit the rookie for keeping the ball on the ground and creating double-play opportunities for the fielders behind him.

And then...Jon Berti??!? That’s right, Jon frickin’ Berti:

Playing in his 17th major league game, he chose a great situation for homer No. 1. The solo blast against Hamels tied things up.

It didn’t stay that way for long, though. Tyler Kinley and Nick Anderson combined to walk the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth. Kyle Schwarber put the home team back in command:

As mentioned several hours before in our Fish Stripes game thread, the Cubs bullpen is their Achilles’ heel. Indeed, Pedro Strop and Kyle Ryan let this W slip through their fingers in the ninth: walk, walk, single, walk before even recording an out.

From there, a couple timely grounders put the Fish ahead for good.

(Total brain cramp by Ryan, but we’ll take it!)

This was one of only six games in Marlins history where the pitching staff issued 10-plus walks in a nine-inning game and still won. The most recent example was in 2009.

Also, this:

Same time (8:05 p.m. ET), same place (Wrigley Field) on Tuesday for a matchup of tough left-handers Caleb Smith and Jon Lester.

Marlins vs. Cubs box score (

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