Cubs rally for 3 in wild 9th to complete sweep of Marlins
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CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning — capped by a bases-loaded walk for a tie and a wild pitch to score the winning run — for a 5-4 victory over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday and a sweep of the three-game series.
Ben Zobrist drew a bases-loaded walk with two out to tie the score. With Willson Contreras at the plate, Marlins closer A.J. Ramos (1-1) threw a wild pitch to allow Matt Szczur to score the winning run from third base.
It was Ramos’ second blown save of the season in 33 chances.
Jeff Mathis hit a two-run home run, Christian Yelich homered and drove in a pair of runs and Tom Koehler tossed six strong innings to give the Marlins a 4-1 lead heading to the bottom of the eighth.
Mathis’ blast snapped a 1-1 tie in the seventh and was just the second of the season for the backup catcher.
Yelich, who was 3 for 4, has hit safely in all 12 career games he has played at Wrigley Field. He is 21 for 51 in those games for a .412 batting average.
Justin Grimm (1-0) pitched the ninth inning for the win. Chicago has won seven of eight.
Miguel Montero started the rally with a lead-off double to right and went to third on a single by Javier Baez. Ramos then walked pinch hitter Szczur to load the bases. Dexter Fowler made it 3-2 with a sacrifice fly to right as all runners advanced.
Kris Bryant was struck out looking on a 3-2 pitch for the second out, and it looked as if Ramos might escape. Anthony Rizzo then was intentionally walked to load the bases again. The strategy backfired as Ramos walked Zobrist and then unloaded a wild pitch with Contreras at the plate.
Koehler gave up five hits and one run while striking out seven.
Cubs starter John Lackey allowed seven hits and three runs in seven innings while striking out eight.
Ichiro Suzuki lined out softly to shortstop as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning against Lackey. He remains at 2,998 career hits, two shy of becoming the 30th player to reach the 3,000-hit milestone.
Marlins: 1B Justin Bour, out since July 3 with a right ankle sprain, is expected to return Friday at Colorado.
Cubs: RHP Jason Hammel was placed on the bereavement list and RHP Justin Grimm was recalled from Triple-A Iowa. Hammel is expected to make his next start on Tuesday.
Marlins: Following a day off, RHP David Phelps (5-5, 2.65 ERA) makes his first start of the season Friday in the opener of a three-game series at Colorado. LHP Jorge De La Rosa (7-7, 5.51) goes for the Rockies.
Cubs: They are off Thursday before opening a three-game weekend series at Oakland on Friday. LHP Jon Lester (11-4, 2.95 ERA) faces LHP Dillon Overton (1-2, 9.33) in the opener.