CHICAGO (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins made their first visit of the season to Wrigley Field on Friday for a late-afternoon ballgame with the Chicago Cubs. In a game that was dominated by pitching for the majority of the day, the Cubs defeated the Miami 5-3 thanks to a 2-run homerun by Anthony Rizzo in the bottom of the 13th.
The Marlins were held scoreless through eight innings before their bats finally came to life in the ninth trialing Chicago 3-0. Singles by Casey McGehee, Garrett Jones and Adeiny Hechavarria loaded the bases for Miami. Rookie Justin Bour grounded out to first, scoring McGehee and advancing the runners.
Reed Johnson then came up with two outs and the tying runs in scoring position. Johnson did what he’s been doing all season and came up with a big hit, singling to right field and scoring Jones and Hechavarria to tie the game at three.
Nathan Eovaldi pitched well for Miami, holding the Cubs without a hit through their first 14 batters. He lasted into the eighth, pitching 7 2/3 innings and giving up three runs on six hits while striking out eight.
The Cubs first hit came with two outs in the fifth inning when right fielder Nate Schierholtz singled to center field. The next batter for Chicago was former Marlins rookie of the year Chris Coghlan who was not offered a new contract from Miami following the 2013 season.
With Giancarlo Stanton positioned in right-center field Coghlan doubled to right as Stanton hustled to cut the ball off. Schierholtz scored easily from first base for the first run of the game.
Chicago would add a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth and the damage was done by a couple more former Marlins. With one out, pinch hitter and ex-Marlin Justin Ruggiano doubled down the right field line.
That was followed by an infield single by Elmilio Bonifaco, who played with the Marlins from 2009-2012. Two batters later Anthony Rizzo doubled into the left field corner, scoring two runs and putting Chicago up 3-0 heading into the ninth inning.
Jason Hammel threw a great game for the Cubs, pitching seven shutout innings while allowing just six hits and striking out eight. The Marlins best chance to score off of Hammel came in the fourth inning when a Garrett Jones double and a Marcel Ozuna single has runners on first and third with one out.
Hammel then struck out Adeiny Hechavarria and intentionally walked Jeff Mathis to load the bases to face Marlins pitcher Nathan Evoaldi. Hammel would strike out Evoaldi as well, ending Miami’s best threat to score.
A total of four former Marlins were sent into action by the Cubs. Coghlan started in left field, Bonifacio started at second base, John Baker was behind the plate and Ruggiano came in as a pinch hitter.
It was a rough day at the plate for Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton as he went hitless in six at bats, striking out four times and grounding into a double play.
The Marlins and Cubs are back at it on Saturday afternoon. Randy Wolf (1-1, 3.38 ERA) will take the mound for Miami and Chicago will counter with Jeff Samardzija (1-5, 2.54 ERA). First pitch from Wrigley Field is set for 4:05pm.