The Chicago Cubs (37-20) continued their winning ways on Thursday, getting out the brooms for the Miami Marlins (25-32) and sweeping their three-game series at Wrigley Field. Alec Mills pitched well in his first start of the season and the Cubs’ offense bounced back after falling behind early to win the game 4-3, via MLB The Show 20.
Mills was starting in place of Jon Lester, who is on the 15-day IL with back spasms. The right-hander gave up an RBI single to Matt Joyce in the 2nd that put Miami ahead 1-0, but otherwise pitched very well through five innings. Anthony Rizzo knocked a single to right field in the 4th that tied the game, bringing Jason Heyward around to score from second base.
David Ross rolled the dice on sending Mills back out for the 6th, but it didn’t work to his advantage. Mills was able to get the first two outs, but Brian Anderson kept the inning alive with a single and Joyce drilled a two-run homer to put the Marlins up 3-1. Overall, Mills went six innings with three earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out six batters.
On the other side, Miami starter Jordan Yamamoto did his best to keep his team in the game. The Cubs responded quickly to the Marlins rally, though, tying the game again in the bottom of the 6th. Rizzo started the frame with a clean single to center field and Willson Contreras followed with a four-pitch walk. Yamamoto struck out Kyle Schwarber, which ended his day on the mound after 5 1/3 innings.
Don Mattingly went to former Cub Brandon Kintzler out of the bullpen and Albert Almora Jr. greeted him with a lazy flyout to center field. Chicago’s last chance would be second baseman Robel García, who smacked a double the opposite way and drove in both runners, tying the game at 3-3.
Miami went to reliever Yimi García in the 7th and Heyward untied the game with one out when he drove a 3-1 fastball into the basket in center field to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead. García labored through the rest of the inning but got out of it without anymore runs crossing the plate, and suddenly the Cubs bullpen had a lead to protect.
Brandon Morrow pitched the 8th and was perfect, striking out two batters and keeping his ERA at 0.00 for the year. Craig Kimbrel took his usual spot in the 9th, serving up a lone single and recording a strikeout on his way to his 21st save of the season.
Heyward – 2-for-3, BB, HR, RBI
García – 1-for-3, HBP, 2B, 2 RBI
Rizzo – 2-for-3, BB, RBI, R
Joyce – 2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI
Anderson – 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R
Winning Pitcher – Jeffress (7-1)
Losing Pitcher – García (0-2)
Save – Kimbrel (21)
Home Runs – Heyward (10), Joyce (7)