Jose Fernandez struck out 13 over seven innings, Martin Prado hit a three-run double and the Marlins were credited with the tie-breaking run after a review to post a 6-1victory on Sunday at Marlins Park over the Cubs, who lost for the sixth time in their last seven games.
"I don't think we're panicking or anything like that," Chicago starter Jason Hammel said. "It's a 162-game season. Sometimes you get the bounces, sometimes you don't. We ran into a hot Miami club that's playing good baseball and is a totally different team from last year."
With the game tied at 1 in the Marlins' sixth, Giancarlo Stanton doubled to lead off against Hammel and moved up on Justin Bour's flyout. Derek Dietrich was hit by a pitch, although that had to be confirmed through a review. Adeiny Hechavarria then hit a potential double-play ball to third baseman Kris Bryant, but he paused on his throw until Ben Zobrist got to second for the force there. Zobrist then threw to first, and first-base umpire Vic Carapazza originally called Hechavarria out.
The Marlins challenged the call at first, and after a review, it was overturned and the run counted. The Cubs also asked for a review on the play at second, saying Dietrich obstructed play, but that call stood. Fernandez credited Hechavarria for hustling down the line on the play.
"If you think about it, little things are what a makes a difference in this game," Fernandez said. "[Hechavarria] goes out there and he runs hard. That's the only thing that we as a team want to do all the time. We can't control scoring five or six runs every game. We can't control the starting pitcher going six or seven innings, but we can control the little things."
This was Fernandez's 15th career start with at least 10 strikeouts. The right-hander fanned every Cubs starter at least once, and he improved to 9-1 with a 1.63 ERA (13 earned runs over 72 innings) in his last 11 starts. Fernandez has struck out 106 batters in that stretch.
"Really good today," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Used his changeup some, but I thought he had a really good fastball. It seemed like he was able to beat a lot of guys with that, which always sets up his other pitches."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED RISPy business: Despite going 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position, the Marlins were able to scrape across six runs. Dietrich got Miami on the board in the second by doubling home Bour from first but was left stranded. It wasn't until the seventh inning that Miami recorded its first hit with runners in scoring position. Miguel Rojas singled and Prado reached on Bryant's high throw to second before Christian Yelich slapped a single to put the Marlins ahead, 3-1. In the eighth, Prado drilled a bases-clearing double off the wall in left-center to crack the game open.
"You keep battling, you keep getting people out there," Mattingly said. "Their guy got some big outs early and got out of some jams where we could've tacked on a run here or there. But we stayed after him and kept putting pressure. We finally broke through."
Streak busters: The Cubs threatened in the third when they loaded the bases with one out, but Fernandez limited them to one run on Bryant's sacrifice fly. That ended Fernandez's string of 25 2/3 innings without allowing a run at Marlins Park, a career high. It also was Bryant's 51st RBI of the season.
"He's a competitor," Bryant said of Fernandez. "He seems like a really good guy, and he's funny out there. It seems like he's having fun.He's one of the top three I've seen."
King of K: The strikeout came in handy for Fernandez in a big spot. After the Cubs tied the game in the third, Fernandez then fanned Anthony Rizzo on an 0-2 curveball to escape the jam. The 23-year-old finished one shy of his career-high in strikeouts, and his 89 K's at home this season pace all Major League pitchers.
"I'm learning," Fernandez said. "I'm learning a lot how to pitch. I think that I'm becoming a pitcher, not just a young guy that has a lot of talent that can strike people out."
Start me up: Hammel escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fourth and stranded Fernandez after his leadoff double in the fifth. But the right-hander took the loss and is now 0-3 in his last four starts. Hammel has given up 10 earned runs over 24 1/3 innings, and the Cubs have scored nine runs in the four games.
QUOTABLE "You win championships by winning games 1-0, 3-2. That was my rallying cry in instructional leagues. We will. We'll do all that stuff. We'll come back from this little bump and get everybody well. In the meantime, while we're not well, we have to take care of business and be a little more efficient in the bullpen, and we can't make the same mistakes on defense." --Cubs manager Joe Maddon
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS With the win, the Marlins are now six games over .500 for the first time since June 2012.
"Quite honestly, I feel like we should be more than six games over .500 right now," Mattingly said. "We've had a lot of games where we've had leads we weren't able to, not necessarily hold, but hold from letting teams back into games."
REPLAY REVIEW Before the overturned call at first base in the Marlins' sixth, Dietrich thought he was hit by a pitch and headed to first. Home-plate umpire John Hirschbeck did not signal that, and the Marlins challenged. After a review, it was determined Dietrich was hit.
WHAT'S NEXT Cubs:Jake Arrieta will make his first start in Cincinnati since he threw his second career no-hitter there on April 21. He's 4-2 with a 2.81 ERA in six career starts against the Reds. First pitch will be 6:10 p.m. CT.
Marlins: After an off-day for Miami, Adam Conley takes the hill on the road against the Tigers on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. He tossed eight scoreless innings against the Braves in his last start. The young left-hander has never faced Detroit.