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Jesús Sánchez hits long homer as Marlins beat Cubs 6-3 for four-game series split

By JAY COHEN (AP Baseball Writer)

CHICAGO — Jesús Sánchez hit a massive solo homer and an RBI single, helping the Miami Marlins beat the Chicago Cubs 6-3 on Sunday.

Sánchez, Luis Arraez, Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Nick Fortes each had two hits as Miami salvaged a split of the four-game series. The last-place Marlins are 6-8 since they opened the season with nine consecutive losses.

“I honestly think that we have a really good team,” Sánchez said through a translator. “I think you’re seeing it out there with the hits that we’re getting. … I think right now we’re in harmony is how I would describe it.”

Miami right-hander Edward Cabrera (1-0) pitched five innings of three-run ball in his second start. He struck out seven and walked three.

The 26-year-old Cabrera was hurt by a couple of well-placed hits, especially in the fourth. But he persevered through the tough luck.

“Old Cabby would have given up six or seven runs,” Miami manager Skip Schumaker said. “That showed what he is all about now. The maturity level has really turned the corner for me.”

Chicago had won six of eight. Nico Hoerner had three hits and two RBIs for the Cubs, and Mike Tauchman had two hits and scored twice.

Kyle Hendricks (0-3) was pulled after just four innings, allowing four runs and six hits. The right-hander has a 12.00 ERA through five starts this season.

“A lot of disappointments, but I’ve got to focus on the positives,” he said. “The mental approach that I took out there and executing on the glove was better.”

Miami jumped in front when Sánchez hit a 460-foot drive to center on an 88 mph fastball from Hendricks with one out in the second. It was the first homer for the outfielder after he hit 14 last year.

The Marlins opened the fourth with four consecutive singles on five pitches, producing two runs. Sánchez singled home Chisholm, and Tim Anderson’s liner to right drove in Josh Bell.

Sánchez scampered home on a fielder’s choice grounder by Emmanuel Rivera, giving the Marlins a 4-1 lead.

“Just up and down the lineup, I thought we put pressure on,” Schumaker said.

Chicago got two back in the bottom half on run-scoring hits for Hoerner and Cody Bellinger. But Hoerner was thrown out when he tried to score on Christopher Morel’s grounder to third, and Michael Busch bounced to shortstop for the final out of the inning.

The Cubs went 3 for 16 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.

After Cabrera departed, Bryan Hoeing, Andrew Nardi, Calvin Faucher and Tanner Scott combined for four innings of one-hit ball. Scott handled the ninth for his fourth save in five opportunities.

Adbert Alzolay worked a perfect eighth inning for the Cubs. Alzolay is trying to find his form after he blew four of his first seven save chances this year.

“Just build on positives from the outing,” manager Craig Counsell said. “That’s what’s important I think at this point. I don’t think you flip that overnight, but you just build on positives and keep building.”


Cubs: LF Ian Happ (left hamstring tightness) was out of the starting lineup for the second straight day. But he said he felt good and thought he might be available off the bench. He had a mild left hamstring strain during spring training, but he started on opening day at Texas. “Just trying to make sure, coming off what happened in spring training, that everything’s in a really good place moving forward,” Happ said. … LHP Justin Steele (left hamstring strain) was scheduled to throw live batting practice. … The Cubs said OF Seiya Suzuki (right oblique strain) was going to try “very light baseball activity.”


Marlins: LHP Ryan Weathers (2-1, 2.70 ERA) starts Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at Atlanta. RHP Reynaldo López (2-0, 0.50 ERA) goes for the Braves.

Cubs: Following an off day, Chicago hosts Houston on Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game set.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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