Saturday, June 25, 2016

Bour, Stanton fuel comeback win over Cubs

The Cubs' winning streak didn't last very long. Justin Bour smacked a two-run homer and an RBI double and Giancarlo Stanton drove in three runs to power Miami to a 9-6 come-from-behind victory on Saturday at Marlins Park. Chicago lost for the fifth time in its last six games.
Chicago led, 4-1, after three innings, thanks to home runs by Miguel Montero (solo shot) and Addison Russell (three-run blast). Bour's homer in the fourth made it 4-3, and the Marlins then scored four more runs in the fifth, chasing Chicago starter John Lackey after 4 1/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.
"Today we did play offensively well enough to win that game," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "We just didn't have our typical pitching day."
Lackey now has given up 10 earned runs in his last two starts combined. He had served up 10 in his previous eight starts combined.
Paul Clemens, who replaced Justin Nicolino in the Marlins' rotation and was making his second start, picked up his first Major League win of 2016 and first since '13. The right-hander did give up both Chicago home runs, and now has served up five over 10 innings in two outings.
"We haven't seen the velocity that we thought we were seeing in the Minor Leagues," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Clemens. "Again, it looks like [he's] missing some spots and getting some bad counts. With good teams, they're gonna make you pay. But at the end, he kind of puts together a couple innings at the back end with a lot of pitches under his belt."
Heed the fifth: The Marlins took the lead and broke the game open behind a four-hit, four-run fifth inning. Ichiro Suzuki chopped a one-out single and advanced to second on Russell's wild throw to first, setting the rally in motion. Martin Prado followed with an RBI double that knotted the game at 4. Christian Yelich walked, and Stanton untied the score with a single to center. Bour then greeted reliever Gerardo Concepcion with a slicing RBI double to left, just his fifth hit off a left-hander this season, before Derek Dietrich capped the inning with a sacrifice fly.
"I think everyone just kind of extended rallies and put them in harm's way a little bit," Mattingly said. "We were able to run Lackey out of there and then get to their 'pen a little bit. Justin's hit against the lefty, too -- I thought that was huge, because he drives in a run, leaves a run. Deet drives in a run against the lefty. Those were two big at-bats for us."
Blast off: Montero, who had not started since Wednesday because of a tender right knee, tied the game at 1 with one out in the second with a solo home run. The kids took charge in the Chicago third. With two outs, Willson Contreras walked, Javier Baez was hit by a pitch, and Russell followed with a laser shot to left for his seventh home run and a 4-1 lead. The Cubs now are 44-4 when scoring at least four runs. More >
Keeping it close: With the Marlins down, 4-1, after three, Bour pulled the Fish back within striking distance with a two-run homer in the fourth. The slugger turned on a Lackey 1-2 fastball that caught too much of the plate and sent it into the upper-deck seats in right field.Statcast™ projected the blast at 426 feet with an exit velocity of 112 mph. Bour has now homered in three straight games, and his 14 homers are tied with Stanton for second-most on the team.
"That's obviously a situation where you get down, 4-1, and to put two up there is obviously big," Bour said. "With this team, you're never really out of the game. It's just a matter of taking good at-bats and believing in your team and believing we'll come through at the end."
Kid stuff: Contreras, making his first start in left field, hit an RBI double with one out in the Cubs ninth to extend his hitting streak to seven games to begin his Major League career. When the catcher was promoted from Triple-A Iowa, he was riding a 20-game hitting streak.
"There's a lot younger ballplayers out there playing, and they're playing aggressive," Russell said. "I like the style that we're playing."
Tying history: Marlins closer A.J. Ramos, who entered the game with one out in the ninth inning, nailed down his 33rd straight save opportunity, matching Steve Cishek's franchise record set in 2013. Ramos is a perfect 24-for-24 in save opportunities this season. More >
"[Ramos has] been solid," Mattingly said. "I think any team that has a guy at the end that's closing them down and you're not giving them up -- you feel like if you can get to him with a lead, that you're in good shape."
This was Lackey's first career start in Miami, but he knows Ichiro very well. The two have faced each other more than any other pitcher/batter combination among active players, and Ichiro did get an infield single in the fifth to improve to .311 (37-for-119) against the right-hander. Ichiro now has 2,984 career hits.
"I feel like I've given up a lot of those kind of infield hits," Lackey said.
With one out in the Cubs' first, Kris Bryant was at second and moved up on Anthony Rizzo's flyout to center. Suzuki threw to third baseman Prado, who made the tag. Bryant was called safe, but the Marlins challenged it, and after a review, the call stood.
Cubs: Jason Hammel will close this series, making his 15th start, on Sunday. The right-hander gave up a season-high four runs in his last start, against the Cardinals. The Cubs are 0-3 in his past three games, after going 9-2 in his first 11 outings. First pitch will be at 12:10 p.m. CT.
Marlins: Miami sends out ace Jose Fernandez to conclude the four-game set Sunday at 1:10 p.m. ET. Yet to face the Cubs in his career, Fernandez is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three June starts. His 13.05 K/9 this month is the highest among Major League starters.

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