Stanton homers, Marlins blank Cubs behind Urena

Send a link to a friend  Share

[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 Marlins.

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.

[to top of second column]

 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 rights reserved.]

Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Back to top