Game Seventy-Three – Cubs 6, Marlins 9
WP – Paul Clemens (1-0) LP – John Lackey (7-4) Save – A.J. Ramos (24)
The Cubs built a 4-1 lead behind home runs from Miguel Montero and Addison Russell. The Marlins scored two runs in the fourth and four in the fifth to take the lead. John Lackey was knocked out of the game and the Marlins cranked it up against the bullpen. The Marlins scored eight unanswered runs as Cubs lost in Miami for the second time in three days.
For as out of hand as the game got, the Cubs brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning. The Cubs had eight hits, eight walks and both Javier Baez and Addison Russell were hit by a pitch. Eighteen baserunners on the day and only six runs because the Cubs hit into two double plays and were 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position while leaving 10 men on base.
Miguel Montero (2-for-4 with a home run and a walk) tied the game at one in the second inning with a solo home run. The Cubs took the lead in the third inning on a two-out, three-run homer from Addison Russell (1-for-3 with a home run, a HBP, two runs scored and three RBI). Willson Contreras (1-for-3 with a double, two walks, a run scored and a RBI) worked a two-out walk, Javier Baez (0-for-4 with a HBP and a run scored) was hit by a pitch and Russell cleared the bases with a line drive homer to left.
With John Lackey throwing strikes and retiring one batter after the other, the Cubs appeared to in control of the game.
The Cubs were not able to cash in on early opportunities against Marlins starter Paul Clemens. The Cubs were 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base in the five innings Clemens pitched. And the inability to add on cost the Cubs a game.
John Lackey retired 10 in a row after Christian Yelich rolled out to Rizzo for the first out in the fourth. Lackey walked Giancarlo Stanton and could not get back on track. Lackey started elevating his pitches and the Marlins took advantage. Justin Bour launched a 1-2 pitch to the upper deck in right field. Bour’s two-run shot got the Marlins right back in the game. Lackey gave up back-to-back singles to Derek Dietrich and J.T. Realmuto following Bour’s blast. But Adeiny Hechavarria grounded into a 6-4-3 inning ending double play.
John Lackey wasn’t able to complete the fifth inning. And it was a throwing error by Addison Russell on a ball in the dirt Anthony Rizzo should have scooped that opened the floodgates.
Ichiro reached on what was ruled an infield single to the hole at short. Russell got to the ball and made a strong, but low throw to first. Rizzo appeared to have trouble getting down on the ball. The ball trickled under his glove and rolled into the camera well. Ichiro jogged to second on an error by Russell. But that was a play Rizzo makes 99 percent of the time. Martin Prado doubled to left. Ichiro scored and tied the game at four. Lackey walked Christian Yelich. Giancarlo Stanton singled to center. Prado scored and the Marlins took a 5-4 lead.
Maddon went to his pen for Gerardo Concepcion with two on and one out. Justin Bour doubled to left, Yelich scored, 6-4 Marlins. Stanton stopped at third. Derek Dietrich hit a sac fly to left. Stanton tagged and scored, 7-4 Marlins, and closed the book on John Lackey. Concepcion finally ended the inning when he got Realmuto to pop out to Rizzo at first base.
In what turned out to be his worst start of the season, John Lackey was charged with seven runs on seven hits. Lackey walked three and struck out five on 95 pitches, 60 for strikes, in 4 1/3 innings.
The Marlins added two more runs, one earned, against Spencer Patton in the seventh. And the game went to the eighth with the Cubs being blown out by a 9-4 score.
The Cubs chipped into the Marlins five-run lead in the eighth. Addison Russell walked and went to third on a single from Miguel Montero. Chris Coghlan grounded into a 3-6-3 double play, Russell scored and made it a 9-5 game. Ben Zobrist batted for Justin Grimm and walked. Jason Heyward tapped back to the mound to end the inning.
Carl Edwards Jr. put a zero on the board in the bottom of the eighth. And the game went to the ninth with the Cubs trailing by four runs.
Kris Bryant walked to start the ninth. Rizzo grounded out to first base but Bryant advanced to second on the play. Willson Contreras doubled to left. Bryant scored, 9-6 Marlins. Don Mattingly was forced to go to his pen. Mattingly brought in his closer A.J. Ramos and Baez popped out to short on the first pitch. Addison Russell was hit by a pitch and Miguel Montero stepped in representing the tying run. Montero struck out swinging to end the game.
With Saturday’s loss, the Cubs slipped to 48-25 on the season.
The Cubs wrap up the four-game series in Miami on Sunday afternoon (12:10pm CDT). Jason Hammel takes on Jose Fernandez in the finale with the Fish.