Game Seventy-Nine – Cubs 7, Marlins 2
WP – Clayton Richard (1-0) LP – Jarred Cosart (1-4) Save – None
Kris Bryant launched a two-run home run in the first inning and hit a Grand Slam in the second inning. Bryant drove in six of the seven runs and Clayton Richard picked up the win with a quality start in his first outing in the majors in two years as the Cubs beat the Marlins on Saturday night.
Kris Bryant (2-for-4 with two home runs and six RBI) had a game that ended up in the Cubs’ history book. Bryant recorded the second two-homer game of his career and the Grand Slam in the second inning put him alongside Billy Williams (1961) and Howard Earl (1890) as the only three rookies in franchise history to hit two Grand Slams in a single season. Bryant is the first Cubs’ rookie since Anthony Rizzo (2012) to drive in six runs in a single game.
Dexter Fowler (1-for-3 with a double, a walk and two runs scored) walked in the Cubs’ third run of the game when he took the free pass with the bases loaded in the second inning.
Clayton Richard had a good start in his first game back in the big leagues since June 2013. Richard threw strikes, kept the ball down (13 groundball outs, three fly ball outs) and fielded his position rather well. Richard pitched out of a jam in the first inning and also limited the damage in the third inning. The Marlins loaded the bases with one out, but managed only one run. Richard did not let defensive miscues rattle him and worked well with Miguel Montero.
The Marlins jumped on Richard the second time through the lineup which led to the run. But the Stanton-less Marlins’ lineup made very little hard contact. Richard turned the game over to the bullpen with one out in the seventh and a man on second base. Hector Rondon picked up the last two outs in the seventh and closed the book on Richard.
Clayton Richard allowed two runs on eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Richard made 91 pitches in 6 1/3 innings, 62 for strikes.
Joe Maddon used four relievers after Richard left the game. Hector Rondon recorded two outs in the seventh. Neil Ramirez pitched the eighth. Ramirez gave up a hit and struck out a batter. James Russell and Pedro Strop recorded the three outs in the ninth.
With Saturday’s win, the Cubs improved to 43-36 on the season.
Dee Gordon led off the game with a single to center (1-1 pitch). Clayton Richard got ahead of Yelich 0-2. Richard picked off Gordon of first (1-3-6) but replays showed Castro did not get the tag down in time. And the call on the field was overturned. With Gordon at second, Yelich grounded out to Russell. Gordon moved up 90 feet with one out.
Adeiny Hechavarria tapped back to the mound. Richard fielded the ball, looked Gordon back and threw out the Marlins’ shortstop at first base. Richard got out of the jam when he caught Jeff Baker looking at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning. Richard threw 15 pitches, 12 for strikes, in the first inning.
Dexter Fowler started his night with a double to left center (2-1 pitch). Rizzo grounded out to first. Fowler moved to third on the play.
Kris Bryant jumped on Jarred Cosart’s first pitch. And the ball sailed to the back of the bleachers in left. Bryant’s towering blast was such a no doubter that Christian Yelich did not move … 2-0 Cubs.
Miguel Montero grounded out to second and Starlin Castro grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.
After one complete, the Cubs led 2-0.
Clayton Richard worked around an error by Addison Russell in the second inning. Russell botched a grounder off the bat of Miguel Rojas. Richard retired Ozuna on a flyout to right and struck out Cole Gillispie swinging (2-2 pitch) to end the inning … 30 pitches for Richard after two innings, 21 for strikes.
Chris Coghlan led off the second with a walk. Chris Denorfia rolled a 0-2 pitch from Cosart to the hole at short. Hechavarria fielded the ball but had not play. After the infield single by Denorfia, the Cubs had runners on first and second with no outs. Clayton Richard could not get the bunt down and fouled a bunt attempt on a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Addison Russell walked to load the bases.
Dexter Fowler walked on four pitches and forced in Coghlan, 3-0 Cubs. Cosart got a call on a 1-2 pitch to Anthony Rizzo for the second out.
Kris Bryant stepped in with the bags clogged and looked at three straight out of the zone. After taking a strike, Bryant was sitting on a fastball and got it. Bryant lined Cosart’s next pitch into the bleachers in left. Bryant’s first career Grand Slam at Wrigley Field gave the Cubs a 7-0 lead.
Dan Jennings went to his pen for David Phelps and he caught Montero looking to end the inning.
The Cubs led 7-0 after two innings.
David Phelps led off the third inning with a single to center. Dee Gordon hit a chopper back to the mound. Richard fielded the ball but took just a little too much time. Phelps was forced at second. Castro’s throw to first base was late. And Gordon took over at first base. Yelich and Hechavarria were first pitch swinging and both singled to right. With the bases loaded and one out, Jeff Baker hit a bouncer to third. Bryant bobbled, Gordon scored … 7-1 Cubs. The Cubs did not turn two double plays and it cost them.
Clayton Richard refocused and struck out Realmuto swinging (1-2 pitch) for the second out. With the bases still loaded, Rojas grounded out to short for the third out. Richard needed 44 pitches, 32 for strikes, to complete three innings.
The Cubs did nothing against David Phelps in the third. After three complete, the Cubs led 7-1.
Clayton Richard started the seventh after throwing 77 pitches, 54 for strikes, in his first six innings back in the big leagues. With the Cubs leading 7-1, Maddon left him in. Richard walked Dee Gordon to start the inning. Yelich flied out to left. Adeiny Hechavarria doubled to left (1-2 pitch). Gordon scored, 7-2 Cubs, and Maddon decided that was enough for Richard.
Hector Rondon replaced Richard and Dan Jennings called back Jeff Baker. Justin Bour hit for Baker and struck out swinging. J.T. Realmuto grounded out to short to end the inning.
Bryan Morris set the Cubs down in order in the seventh.
After seven innings, the Cubs led 7-2.
And that was the final score. The Cubs’ bats went quiet after Bryant’s slam while the pitching staff kept the Marlins off the board.
The Cubs and Marlins wrap up the series and season series on Sunday afternoon (1:20pm CDT) … Kyle Hendricks versus Mat Latos in the finale.