Stanton homers, Marlins blank Cubs behind Urena
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[June 24, 2017]
MIAMI -- The Miami Marlins
managed just three hits and two walks on Friday night.
But the Marlins, for the second time in three days, beat a 2016
playoff team despite getting three or less hits. First it was the
Washington Nationals on Wednesday. On Friday, it was the defending
World Series champion Chicago Cubs.
It helps, though, when one of those three hits on Friday was a home
run by Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Urena pitched six scoreless
innings. To cap it off, the bullpen did its job flawlessly.
Add it all up, and Miami shut out Chicago 2-0 at Marlins Park.
One night after the Cubs routed Miami 11-1, Urena (6-2) held the
Cubs to five hits and three walks (with three strikeouts). Relievers
Kyle Barraclough, David Phelps and A.J. Ramos completed the shutout.
Ramos earned his 11th save of the season.
Urena, who has won a career-high five consecutive decisions,
impressed Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant.
"The guy went up to 100 mph with sink," Bryant said.
The Cubs were familiar with Urena going into the game because he had
defeated them as recently as June 7 in Chicago. But he looked
different this time out.
"They changed their tactic," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Urena
and the Marlins. "Their guy (Urena) threw a lot more breaking balls
than last time, and he was good with it."
Perhaps that is part of the maturation of Urena, who leads all
Marlins pitchers with his six wins.
"We know the power is there," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of
Urena's fastball. "But he's pitching more now.
"He's using his changeup. He's using his slider. You still want him
to continue to improve, but he's using them, and that makes you
think as a hitter."
Stanton's solo homer -- his ninth game-winning RBI this season --
gave Miami a 1-0 lead in the third. He hit a curveball on the
outside part of the plate for his 19th long ball of the season, and
he also doubled and was hit by a pitch in a 2-for-3 performance as
Miami improved to 33-39.
The Cubs (37-36) got a good pitching performance by John Lackey
(5-8), who allowed three hits, two walks and two runs, one earned,
in six innings. Lackey has lost his past three decisions against the
Offensively, Chicago hit into three double plays and went 0-for-4
with runners in scoring position. The Cubs managed just one
extra-base hit, a two-out double by rookie right fielder Ian Happ in
the first inning. Urena got the next batter, Addison Russell, to
ground out to end the threat.
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Marlins right fielder
Giancarlo Stanton (27) connects for a double in the first inning
against the Chicago Cubs at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve
Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Cubs threatened again in the fifth. With two
outs, Bryant drew a five-pitch walk. Happ, who has six hits in the
past two games, singled to put runners on the corners, but Russell
struck out looking as Urena escaped again.
"I just focused on putting the ball down in the zone," Urena said.
"That's how I can get people out."
Miami extended its lead to 2-0 in the sixth. Dee Gordon blooped a
soft single over the shortstop, stole second, advanced to third on
catcher Miguel Montero's throwing error. After Stanton was hit by a
pitch, Gordon scored on Christian Yelich's sacrifice fly.
"Whatever," Stanton said when asked his reaction to getting hit in
the back with that pitch from Lackey. "Do your job, Yelly."
Yelich indeed did his job, and the Marlins emerged with the win,
even with very little offensive firepower.
NOTES: Marlins 2B Dee Gordon stole his 28th base, tying him for
second place in the National League. ... Miami activated 3B Martin
Prado, who went 0-for-3. Prado had been on the disabled list since
May 7 due to his second hamstring injury of the year. He hit in the
sixth hole because RF Giancarlo Stanton has found his niche is the
second spot in the order. ... Miami designated INF Christian Colon
for assignment. ... Miami is reportedly shopping starting SS Adeiny
Hechavarria, who is on the disabled list due to an oblique injury.
The Orioles, Rays and Cardinals are reportedly interested in
Hechavarria, who has been replaced by rookie SS J.T. Riddle. Miami
could also turn to SS Miguel Rojas when he gets healthy. ... With SS
Addison Russell and RF Ian Happ each going 4-for-5 on Thursday, it
was the first time since 1913 that the Cubs had two players age 23
or younger each collect at least four hits in a game. ... Chicago
entered the weekend 29th in the majors in batting average (.239).
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All
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