Marlins’ gaffes help Cubs rally to victory

A mix of homegrown Cubs players and youngsters displayed the poise that the Marlins lacked Saturday in the eighth inning of a 4-2 comeback win.

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Nick Madrigal hits a go-ahead two-run single during the eighth inning Saturday against the Miami Marlins at Wrigley Field.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

A mix of homegrown and young Cubs displayed the poise that the Marlins lacked Saturday in the eighth inning of a 4-2 comeback win.

A dropped low throw by first baseman Yuri Gurriel led to three runs, highlighted by Nick Madrigal’s two-run single and a pinch-hit RBI single by Miguel Amaya for his first major-league hit before a festive, season-high crowd of 36,418 at Wrigley Field.

The clutch hits occurred after right fielder Peyton Burdick lost a ball in the sun that caromed off his leg. Trey Mancini was credited with a double that moved the tying and winning runs into scoring position.

Madrigal’s hit provided relief after the Cubs were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Amaya’s soft hit squeezed through the infield after he hit into some tough-luck outs in his first four at-bats.

“That exit velo stuff is overrated, isn’t it?” Manager David Ross quipped.

But Amaya already has earned the trust of Ross, who sent him to the plate to bat for veteran Tucker Barnhart against hard-throwing left-hander A.J. Puk.

“You got to continue to expose the young player when you feel like he hasn’t shown anything but poise and calmness in moments,” Ross said.

Matt Mervis collected his second major-league hit in as many games when he poked an opposite-field RBI single in the fourth.

“You’re starting to see some of the fruits of the organization building from within and putting the right pieces in,” Ross said. “Miggy is a big piece if he continues to develop into what we feel like is a sustainable big-leaguer. He’s shown nothing but good things so far.”

Keegan Thompson pitched three scoreless innings, and Adbert Alzolay earned his second major-league save.

Hosmer on board with bench duty

Eric Hosmer said he knew he could be relegated to bench duty before signing with the Cubs because of Mervis’ potential.

“Winning is the ultimate goal,” said Hosmer, adding that he liked Mervis’ preparation in spring training and between at-bats. “He’s got what you’re looking for in this role.”

In his support of Hosmer, Ross believes that veteran leadership is “very underrated” in our game.”

Ross credited former players Robin Ventura, Mark Sweeney, Dave Roberts, Alex Cora and Olmedo Saenz for helping acclimate him to a role with the Dodgers.

Academically speaking

Despite having his sights set on major-league baseball, Mervis said his parents were academically driven and prepared him for an education at Duke.

But Mervis, who is 2-for-8 at the plate, admittedly struggled with a philosophy class.

“I was in over my head,” said Mervis, recalling a tough professor and an unfamiliar topic. “It was a small discussion class, so you really couldn’t hide.”

Mervis said he received a C+ grade and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science.

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