Garrett Jones’ HR helps Marlins beat Cubs, 6-5
MIAMI — With a lot of muscle and a little body English, Garrett Jones finally beat the Chicago Cubs’ shift by clearing it.
Jones hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning Tuesday night, and the Miami Marlins rallied to beat Chicago 6-5.
Jones had been 0 for 9 in the series against the Cubs, who deployed three infielders to the right of second base against the left-handed hitter.
“The shift has taken away some hits,” Jones said. “It has frustrated me a little bit mentally, chasing some balls out of the strike zone trying to make something happen. That last at-bat, I just squared it up and wasn’t worried about the shift, and was able to get it out.”
Jones’ one-out drive hit the top of the wall and bounced into the bullpen for his ninth home run, but his first since May 23.
“I was getting up on my tiptoes, wishing it would go over, and it did,” he said.
Adeiny Hechavarria started the seventh with a bunt single for his fourth hit. Rafael Furcal had a two-out, two-run single in the fourth for his first RBIs since 2012.
Hard-luck Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija allowed three runs, two earned, in six innings but again was denied a victory. The Cubs are 4-11 when he starts even though his ERA is 2.78.
“That’s the way it goes,” Samardzija said. “I go out and pitch and keep doing my job and making improvements. I battled, and I liked the way I finished. I made some good adjustments and finished strong.”
Luis Valbuena’s RBI double in the seventh gave Chicago a 4-3 lead and left Samardzija in line for only his third win.
But Miami rallied against Brian Schlitter (2-2). Cubs manager Rick Renteria left the right-hander in the game to face Jones, rather than going with lefty Wesley Wright.
“I was 99 percent convinced Wright was coming in,” Jones said.
Renteria said he opted for Schlitter against Jones rather than bringing in Wright to face pinch-hitter Jeff Baker.
“It was pick my poison,” Renteria said. “Schlitt just left the pitch up. That’s obviously not what he wanted to do.”
Junior Lake hit his ninth homer, and third in five games against the Marlins this year, but the Cubs went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. The Marlins were 2 for 13.
Miami, which leads the majors in home victories, improved to 24-14 at Marlins Park.
Marlins rookie Anthony DeSclafani, recalled from the minors Monday, gave up four runs in 6 1/3 innings. Sam Dyson (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for his first career win, then was optioned after the game — as expected — to Triple-A New Orleans.
“We gave him the scorecard,” manager Mike Redmond said. “He was pretty fired up about that.”
Steve Cishek gave up a run in the ninth on Justin Ruggiano’s sacrifice fly before striking out Anthony Rizzo with the bases empty to earn his 16th save in 17 chances.
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who came into the game leading the NL in home runs and RBIs, went 0 for 4 and stranded five runners.
Miami scored an unearned run in the first when the Cubs tried to turn a 3-6-1 double play, and shortstop Starlin Castro’s errant throw allowed Furcal to come home from third. Furcal returned last week after being sidelined since the end of the 2012 season because of injuries.
In the second inning, Lake hit a two-run homer to put the Cubs ahead. Darwin Barney and Eli Whiteside pulled off a double steal — the first stolen base for each — and Samardzija followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
*Photo courtesy of AP Photo/El Nuevo Herald, Hector Gabino