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Cubs right the ship with win over Marlins

3 years agoTony Andracki

Before Sunday’s game, David Ross was asked what aspect of the Cubs’ game could spark a turnaround for his team — starting pitching or offense.

The Cubs manager went the offense route and watched as his team jumped out to a lead Sunday…without a hit.

In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Jason Heyward led off with a walk and advanced to third on an error by Miami shortstop Miguel Rojas. He came around to score a couple of pitches later on a passed ball.

It was the Cubs’ 1st run in a week that did not come via a homer (dating back to Anthony Rizzo’s RBI single last Sunday against the Cardinals).

That hitless rally sparked the Cubs to a 2-0 victory Sunday afternoon in front of 37,158 fans at Wrigley Field to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Marlins.

Patrick Wisdom scored the Cubs’ other run after singling during a 15-pitch at-bat in the 5th inning. It was tied for the longest at-bat ending in a hit by a Cub since at least 1988:

Just like with Anthony Rizzo’s 14-pitch at-bat that ended in a homer last weekend against the Cardinals, the Wrigley crowd played a huge role throughout the at-bat.

“That place was electric,” Wisdom said. “It’s giving me goosebumps right now thinking about it.”

Wisdom later came around to score on an RBI single by Joc Pederson.

“You see the intent,” David Ross said of Wisdom’s spark. “It felt like from my seat that he just was not gonna get out. He was gonna refuse to get out. I think that mindset goes a long way, sparks the club, sparks the fans.

“He felt the energy. I think it was pretty evident how things went after we got the fans involved and after his at-bat so that was definitely a big turning point in the game.”

The offense was key for the Cubs Sunday but Alec Mills also played a huge role with 5 shutout innings. He scattered 6 hits and did not walk a batter while receiving some incredible defense from Javy Báez all afternoon:

“Javy made a couple jaw-dropping plays and everybody was just really solid,” Mills said. “I don’t think we should ever be surprised [by what Javy does] but at the same time, that [2nd inning play] was unbelievable.”

Ross echoed those thoughts.

He’s been spectacular lately on defense — just the range he’s had,” the Cubs manager said of the Gold Glove shortstop. “In New York, he made some phenomenal plays and that carried into this series.”

The Cubs’ three-headed attack in the bullpen (Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin, Craig Kimbrel) were lights out once again, combining for 4 shutout innings to make the slim lead hold up.

Kimbrel picked up his 368th career save with a perfect 9th inning. He is now tied with Jonathan Papelbon for 9th all-time on the MLB saves list.

The Cubs welcome Cleveland into town Monday night for a quick 2-game series.

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