Cubs' bats back Hammel's 11 K's to top Marlins
MIAMI -- Jason Hammel established a career-high 11 strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings, while Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant each collected RBI doubles on Monday night in the Cubs' 5-1 win over Miami at Marlins Park. Starlin Castro provided insurance in the eighth inning with a two-out solo home run off Bryan Morris.
Marlins rookie Jose Urena, making his second MLB start, was victimized by some early-count swinging by the Cubs in the first inning, giving up two runs. Rizzo opened the scoring with an RBI double. Urena did settle down, and he made it through six innings, giving up three runs on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
"I thought [Hammel] got better game-in-progress," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I didn't want to take him out there, obviously. His stuff kept getting better. … He was outstanding."
Bryant delivered a two-out RBI double to deep left field in the seventh inning off Vin Mazzaro, making it 4-1.
Giancarlo Stanton manufactured a run for the Marlins in the fourth inning, scoring after he stole third and catcher Miguel Montero's throw sailed into left field. It was the lone run for Miami, now 0-8 on Mondays.
"I think we expanded the strike zone," Miami manager Dan Jennings said. "That's the first time, really, in my time that we've done that. We chased some pitches out of the strike zone."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Piling up the K's: With a strikeout of Justin Bour in the sixth inning, Hammel notched his career-high 11th strikeout of the game. His previous strikeout high was 10, which he accomplished three times -- the last time coming on June 22, 2012, against Washington. In all, the righty went 6 2/3 innings and allowed one run on five hits as he threw 117 pitches. More >
Urena makes strides: It wasn't pretty early for Urena. Dexter Fowler singled sharply on the first pitch of the game, and after Bryant walked, Rizzo laced an RBI double. Urena gave up two runs in the first inning and a run in the fourth inning. But the rookie showed composure in his second big league start, was able to throw better offspeed pitches and made it through six innings. More >
Stanton manufactures run: The impact Stanton made in the fourth inning came with his legs. The Miami slugger -- who singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch -- noticed third baseman Bryant wasn't as close to third while the Cubs had the shift on for Bour. So Stanton stole third, and he scored on Montero's throwing error, when the ball skipped into left field. According to Statcast™, the exit velocity on his single was 115 mph.
Hammel's swinging bunt: A slow-rolling groundout to third base off the bat of Hammel advanced Chris Coghlan to second base with two outs in the top of the fourth. Addison Russell then followed with an RBI single to right field, pushing Chicago's lead to 3-0.
"I'm not even trying to strike guys out. I didn't know I threw that many pitches. I was kind of just grooving." -- Hammel, on his 11 strikeouts
"You have to take what they're going to give you. If they give you walks, you have to take that. That's huge to get runners on." -- Jennings, on the Marlins drawing one walk in the past two games
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Hammel's 11 strikeouts marks a season high for Cubs pitchers. Jon Lester has notched 10 strikeouts twice this season, while Jake Arrieta also has a 10-strikeout game in 2015.
Cubs: Right-hander Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 3.76 ERA) takes the hill in the second game of the series, which is set for 6:10 p.m. CT on Tuesday. He'll try to stay hot, as he's allowed just one run in 16 innings over his past two starts.
Marlins: Brad Hand (0-1, 4.50 ERA) threw five shutout innings at Pittsburgh in his first start of the season, and the lefty is getting the nod for the second time on Tuesday in the sandwich game with the Cubs, which starts at 7:10 p.m. ET. Hand opened the season in the bullpen, making 14 relief appearances.
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