MIAMI (AP) — After his team lost for the fifth time in its last six games, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon gave a highly detailed list of all the things that concern him right now.
“None at all,” Maddon said.
No, not even the Cubs’ first rough patch of the season is fazing Maddon.
An early 4-1 lead wasn’t enough for the Cubs on Saturday, their undoing mainly provided by a four-run fifth that lifted the Miami Marlins to a 9-6 win. Addison Russell hit a three-run homer and Miguel Montero added a solo homer for the Cubs, who still have baseball’s best record.
The Cubs were 33-0 this season when scoring at least six runs and 44-3 when scoring at least four.
“When we score that many runs we’re going to win a baseball game,” Maddon said. “It was one of those nights and we move on.”
Justin Bour — who hit a grand slam in the Cubs’ win on Friday that snapped Chicago’s four-game losing streak — hit his 14th home run and drove in three more for Miami. Giancarlo Stanton had his first three-RBI game since April 26 and Paul Clemens grinded through five innings to get his first big league win in more than three years for the Marlins.
Bour’s homer in the fourth got Miami within 4-3, and then Ichiro Suzuki kick-started the Marlins’ big fifth inning with an infield single.
“Just a good team,” Bour said as the lighted disco ball swirled about in the Marlins’ faux-fog-filled clubhouse that gets a nightclub-themed makeover after wins. “Good vibe right now, and just got to keep it rolling.”
Cubs starter John Lackey (7-4) gave up a season-high seven runs in 4 1-3 innings, and it’s almost like he knew Suzuki’s infield single would be trouble — smacking his glove and shouting in frustration after he reached.
It only got worse over the next few minutes for Lackey, who had a 2.78 ERA when the game started and a 3.29 ERA when it ended.
“To start off with an infield hit ... I have to do better than that,” Lackey said. “Four runs should be enough to win that game.”
Suzuki took second when Russell’s throw squirted away from Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, and scored two pitches later on Martin Prado’s double. Russell was charged with an error on the throw, but Suzuki was credited with a single for beating the play.
“I have to do a better job cutting down my errors,” Russell said. “A team like that, they’re more likely to capitalize on that.”
He was right.
Stanton drove in Prado with a single that chased Lackey and put Miami up 5-4, Bour greeted reliever Gerardo Concepcion with an RBI double, and Derek Dietrich’s sacrifice fly made it 7-4.
A.J. Ramos got the last two outs for his 24th save in as many chances this season. Going back to 2015, Ramos has saved 33 straight, tying a Marlins franchise record.
“He’s been solid,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Any team that has a guy at the end that’s closing ‘em down and not giving ‘em up, if you can get to him with a lead you’re in good shape.”
Miami got its 40th win in the season’s 75th game, or 20 games faster than it got there a year ago.
Cubs: Rizzo (back stiffness) and Montero (right knee) returned to the lineup after missing the last two games. ... 2B Ben Zobrist, who was forced out of Friday’s game after getting hit in the left ankle by a pitch, didn’t start but pinch-hit in the eighth.
Marlins: CF Marcell Ozuna, who played in all but one of Miami’s first 74 games, wasn’t in the lineup because of left wrist pain. Suzuki started in center for the sixth time this season.
Willson Contreras, who had an RBI double in the ninth for the Cubs, got the start in left field. That became the third position (joining catcher and first base) that he’s played in a very hectic opening eight games of his MLB career. And Lackey batted eighth, the second straight day that Maddon put a starting pitcher in that slot after doing the same with Kyle Hendricks in Friday’s win.
Suzuki went 1 for 4, moving him within 16 hits of 3,000 for his MLB career.
The series ends Sunday when Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (9-3, 2.36) faces Cubs RHP Jason Hammel (7-3, 2.55).