MIAMI -- Martin Prado lined a two-run double in a three-run first inning and Giancarlo Stanton provided insurance with his 20th homer in the seventh as the Marlins edged the Cubs, 4-2, to split a four-game series Sunday at Marlins Park.Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna continued his All-Star worthy first half
MIAMI -- Martin Prado lined a two-run double in a three-run first inning and Giancarlo Stanton provided insurance with his 20th homer in the seventh as the Marlins edged the Cubs, 4-2, to split a four-game series Sunday at Marlins Park.
Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna continued his All-Star worthy first half by roping a single to knock in Ichiro Suzuki to ignite the first-inning rally. Two batters later, Prado collected his first two RBIs since coming off the disabled list on Friday.
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"You start getting down to that spot and you know you're at Martin, who really is a top-of-the-order guy," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Prado hitting sixth in the lineup. "And right now, we're able to put him there and let him get comfortable. It's just nice to have him back."
Miami starter Edinson Volquez was wild, but he was able to scatter five hits and five walks while allowing just two runs in five innings. The right-hander improved to 8-0 in 12 career starts against the Cubs, making him one of just three active pitchers to have eight or more wins and zero losses against an opponent. The others are Jason Hammel (9-0 vs. the Nationals) and Clayton Kershaw (8-0 vs. the Mets).
"Yeah, kind of got himself into it and then got himself out of it," Mattingly said. "You know, a lot of counts and walks today, and I know that bothers him, but again, he battled out of it. And then Jarlin [Garcia] comes in and is good. [David Phelps] and AJ [Ramos] were able to split up those three innings for us and did a job."
Mike Montgomery (1-4) went six innings in his first career start against the Marlins, and after three unearned runs in the first inning, he shut down Miami on one hit over the final five frames and retired the last 10 batters he faced. He yielded four hits while striking out four and walking two.
"That's how it goes sometimes," Montgomery said. "And then after the first inning, it was just trying to battle and keep things close and give us a chance to win. I did some good things, but I definitely have some stuff to work on moving forward."
However, despite outhitting the Marlins, 8-5, the Cubs' offense could muster only sacrifice flies in the fourth and fifth innings from Anthony Rizzo and Thomas La Stella.
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Marlins hang 'em out to dry: On numerous occasions, Miami stranded runners and escaped jams. Twice, Volquez encountered Rizzo with the bases full. In the second inning, Rizzo flew out to center to end the threat, and in the fourth, Volquez limited the damage to a Rizzo sacrifice fly before fanning Kristopher Bryant on an 86-mph changeup. Chicago left 11 runners on base.
"I don't like that, but I had no choice," Volquez said. "You start walking people and get yourself in some trouble. You have to find a way to get out of it."
Stanton provides cushion: With one swing of the bat, Stanton gained some important separation in what was a one-run ballgame in the seventh. The outfielder took a 97-mph fastball from Pedro Strop and lined it over the left-field wall for his 20th homer of the season, tying Ozuna for the team lead. Per Statcast™, the homer had an exit velocity of 106 mph and traveled an estimated 371 feet at a 20-degree launch angle.
"At that point, you're playing against a really good team. You cannot just get too comfortable when you're playing against teams that just had success like the Cubs," Prado said. "And, you know, [Stanton] hitting that homer in that situation is huge. It's a relief for the pitchers and ... you get that boost of confidence to go out there and play defense for whoever's pitching."
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At 43 years and 246 days old, Ichiro became the oldest starting center fielder since 1900, per Elias Sports. The previous record was set by Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, who made his last start in center on July 24, 2002, at 43 years and 211 days old, while with the Red Sox. More >
Cubs:Eddie Butler takes the mound for Chicago on Monday when it opens a four-game series with Washington at Nationals Park, beginning at 6:05 p.m. CT. The right-hander has no-decisions in his past two starts, and he'll go for his first win since June 5.
Marlins: Miami has an off-day Monday before taking on the Mets for three games starting Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Marlins Park. Right-hander Dan Straily (5-4, 3.43 ERA) gets the nod for the Marlins.
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Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami who covered the Marlins on Sunday.
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami who covered the Cubs on Sunday.