MIAMI (AP) Luis Arraez hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to give the Miami Marlins a 4-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday and a sweep of the three-game series.
Jon Berti drew a leadoff walk against reliever Keegan Thompson (1-1) and advanced to third on Jesús Sánchez’s single. Arraez then drove the first pitch from Thompson to deep center to score Berti.
“I was looking for something in the zone,” Arraez said. “I just wanted to hit the ball to the outfield and I did it.”
The 26-year-old, who's the reigning AL batting champion with Minnesota last season, finished April with an MLB-best .438 average.
“It’s been good because we’ve been winning,” Arraez said of his first month in Miami. “Personally it’s been amazing because I work hard for this and thank God.”
Tanner Scott (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth around two singles and A.J. Puk closed with a perfect ninth for his fifth save. Garrett Hampson doubled twice for the Marlins, who won their fourth straight and are 10-0 in one-run games.
“What we preach a lot is winning each series,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “When you come in for a 12 o’clock game, with some guys banged up, spot starter, so to speak, and you can win one of those games, that’s huge for our club.”
The Cubs were 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position. Chicago’s Nico Hoerner singled in the seventh, extending his consecutive games on base streak to 25.
“It’s just part of 162 (games),” Cubs manager David Ross said. “I didn’t think we played bad baseball. We didn’t get the big hit this series, they did. That’s just baseball. They played better than we did this series.”
Justin Steele limited Miami to three runs and seven hits in six innings. It ended the left-hander’s string of 12 consecutive starts of allowing two runs or fewer dating back to July 20, 2022.
Cody Bellinger drove a 2-0 pitch from Marlins reliever Andrew Nardi into the facade in right for his seventh homer in the sixth inning to tie the game at 3.
Two innings earlier, Bellinger hit a game-tying sacrifice fly and Seiya Suzuki tripled after Marlins centerfielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. misjudged the drive that got past his outstretched glove. But Miami retook the lead in the bottom half on Hampson’s RBI double.
Marlins starter Bryan Hoening was lifted after five innings. He allowed two runs and five hits, walked one, struck out four and hit a batter.
Sunday’s attendance of 20,345 was the Marlins’ second largest home crowd of the season. Although a good portion of the crowd favored the Cubs, Schumaker noticed support for the Marlins in critical moments.
“It’s the greatest thing when you can play in front of fans,” Schumaker said. “It got loud there. When Puk came in the ninth, that was exciting. When Arraez got the sac fly, that was exciting and loud. There might have been Cubs fans but it felt it was a home crowd when those two things happened. Really good energy and hopefully we get more of that.”
Chicago’s Patrick Wisdom hit a broken bat single off Scott in the eighth. The path of the splintered bat flew over the infield dirt and landed feet away from the ball in short left.
Marlins: 1B Garrett Cooper exited in the fourth because of an upset stomach. ... RHP Tommy Nance (right shoulder strain) scheduled to throw a bullpen Saturday in Jupiter, Florida.
Cubs: LHP Drew Smyly (2-1, 3.21 ERA) will start the opener of a four-game series at Washington on Monday against Nationals LHP Mackenzie Gore (3-1, 3.00).
Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara (1-2, 5.04) will start the opener of a three-game home set against Atlanta on Tuesday. The Braves have not announced a starter.
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