Game Fifty-Nine: Cubs 5, Marlins 2
WP – Jeff Samardzija (2-5) LP – Randy Wolf (1-2) Save – Pedro Strop (2)
The Cubs won their fifth game in row Saturday afternoon behind an excellent outing from Jeff Samardzija and seven extra basehits. Junior Lake went yard twice, Emilio Bonifacio hit his first longball of the season and Starlin Castro collected two doubles as the Cubs beat Randy Wolf and the Fish.
Jeff Samardzija settled in after a rough start and pitched a very good game. Samardzija got out of a little trouble in the first inning and served up a solo homer to Christian Yelich in the third. After the Yelich longball, Samardzija retired the next six batters he faced and gave his teammates a chance to put runs on the board. The Marlins second run scored in the sixth after a Giancarlo Stanton double, a wild pitch and a grounder to first off the bat of Casey McGehee. Samardzija threw strikes and issued only one free pass on the afternoon.
Jeff Samardzija picked up his second win on the season after allowing two runs on five hits with one walk and a wild pitch. Samardzija struck out eight batters on 103 pitches, 70 for strikes, over seven innings.
The Cubs’ pen retired the last six batters in a row to close out the game. Wesley Wright and Justin Grimm, with a little help from the wind, kept the Marlins off the board in the eighth and Pedro Strop picked up the save with a perfect ninth.
The Cubs’ offense had a good day. Seven of the 11 hits went for extra bases and three of those left the park. And all three home runs came from the top two hitters in the lineup.
Emilio Bonifacio (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) hit his first homer of the season in the third with Jeff Samardzija on first base and gave the Cubs the lead for good on the afternoon. Junior Lake (2-for-4 with two home runs) hit his first of two longballs in the fifth. Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored) hit his second of two doubles in the sixth, advanced to third on a flyout and scored on a wild pitch. And Junior Lake capped the scoring in the seventh with his second homer of the game.
Anthony Rizzo (2-for-3 with a double a walk) reached base three times in five at bats. Darwin Barney (2-for-4 with a double) had a two-hit day and Justin Ruggiano (1-for-4) managed a hit in four at bats.
The Cubs scored five runs on 11 hits with one walk and four strikeouts (0-for-3 with RISP, five left on base).
With Saturday’s win, the Cubs improved to 25-34 on the season.
Jeff Samardzija worked out of a small jam in the first inning (first and third with two out) and retired the side in order in the second inning. Samardzija threw 29 pitches, 18 for strikes, over two innings and he kept the Marlins off the board while his teammates tried to figure out Randy Wolf.
Randy Wolf led off the third inning and flied out to deep left. Christian Yelich lifted a 1-0 pitch from Samardzija out to center. The ball carried and ended up in the basket … 1-0 Marlins. Samardzija refocused and struck out Donovan Solano and Giancarlo Stanton swinging to end the inning. Samardzija threw 40 pitches, 27 for strikes, over the first three innings.
Eli Whiteside led off the Cubs’ third by grounding out to second base. Jeff Samardzija pulled one past a diving McGehee at third. Emilio Bonifacio worked a full count before lifting a Randy Wolf pitch out to left. The ball kept traveling, ended up in the first row of the bleachers and Bonifacio’s first home run of the season gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Lake grounded out to short for the second out. Anthony Rizzo followed with a single to right with two down. But Wolf picked off Rizzo from first base with Castro at the dish to end the inning.
After three innings, the Cubs led 2-1.
Jeff Samardzija settled in after he was given a lead. He issued a leadoff walk to McGehee in the fourth, then went onto retire the next six batters he faced. Samardzija threw 70 pitches, 49 for strikes, over the first five innings.
Randy Wolf retired Samardzija (grounder to third) and Bonifacio (flyout to center) quickly to start the fifth. Junior Lake launched a 2-1 pitch over the wall in center and Lake’s seventh home run of the season gave the Cubs a 3-1 lead. Rizzo lined out to left to end the inning.
The Cubs had a 3-1 lead after five innings.
Samardzija retired Donovan Solano on a grounder to second for the first out in the sixth. Giancarlo Stanton drilled a 2-2 pitch into the left field corner for a double. With Casey McGehee at the plate, Samardzija uncorked a wild pitch that Whiteside could not block. Stanton advanced to third and scored when McGehee grounded out to first, 3-2 Cubs. Garrett Jones reached on an infield single that Barney made a diving stop on up the middle but could not throw him out at first. Marcell Ozuna hit a one-hopper back to the mound that Samardzija field and tossed to first to end the inning.
Starlin Castro led off the sixth with a double into the left field corner. Ruggiano flied out to right, Castro tagged and went to third with one out. Mike Olt stepped in and Jeff Mathis could not handle a 1-2 offering from Wolf. The ball sailed to the backstop, Castro scored and the Cubs had a 4-2 lead. Olt flied out to right. Darwin Barney doubled into the left field corner with two down. Mike Redmond decided that was enough for Wolf and went to his pen for Chris Hatcher. Eli Whiteside popped out to short to end the inning.
Jeff Samardzija stayed in for the seventh after throwing 96 pitches, 65 for strikes, over the first six frames. Samardzija retired the side in order, with Jeff Baker swinging and missing a 1-2 pitch to end the inning … and Samardzija’s outing.
Chris Hatcher stayed in for the seventh and struck out pinch-hitter (Samardzija) Chris Coghlan for the first. Emilio Bonifacio put together a long at bat that ended with him lining out to second (3-2 pitch) on the tenth pitch of the at bat. Junior Lake worked a full count before lifting a solo shot into the first row of the bleachers in left center … 5-2 Cubs. Anthony Rizzo followed with a double to right, but Castro flied out to right for the third out.
After seven innings, the Cubs had a 5-2 lead and that is the way the game would end.
Jake Arrieta is scheduled to face Henderson Alvarez in the finale on Sunday afternoon (1:20pm CDT).