CHICAGO -- Kyle Barraclough executed his pitch, and got the desired result -- a soft grounder to second base. But Starlin Castro had trouble getting the ball out of his glove and threw wide to the plate, allowing the decisive run to score.
With little margin for error, the small hiccup in the field was the determining factor in the Marlins' 4-3 loss to the Cubs on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.
After back-to-back losses, the Marlins had their string of four straight series wins come to a close. For Barraclough, he had a string of five straight outings without allowing a run come to an end.
"That's the play we wanted," Castro said. "We knew [Kris Bryant at third base] was going to run on contact. I've got to make a quicker throw. I take the responsibility, it's on me. That's what we were looking for, that's why we were playing the infield in, and that's what we wanted. I've got to make the play."
Thumped in the series opener on Monday, 14-2, the Marlins came out swinging Tuesday, scoring three runs in the first inning. From there, manager Don Mattingly said he sensed a letdown, and it was reflected on numerous plays. The Marlins missed a cutoff that allowed a second run to score in the second inning. They also didn't get any offense going after the first.
"It was probably one of the most frustrating games of the year for me," Mattingly said. "We played backwards. We played scared. We didn't play aggressive after the first inning. We were like we were going to hold on and win, in this ballpark, against that club, like three was going to be enough. It was a disappointing game."
The Cubs snapped the 3-3 deadlock in the eighth inning, with Bryant starting the rally with a nine-pitch walk. A wild pitch advanced him to second, and Bryant advanced to third on Anthony Rizzo's grounder to first.
The Marlins played the infield in, and Barraclough's changeup got Victor Caratini to bounce to Castro. But Bryant scored on the wide throw.
Marlins right-hander Jose Urena, who was tagged for five runs in four innings against the Cubs on Opening Day at Marlins Park, was more effective on Tuesday. In 5 1/3 innings, he gave up three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts.
The Cubs went with a bullpen day because Yu Darvish was placed on the disabled list Monday. Miami struck for three runs in the first inning off Jen-Ho Tseng, who went two innings as the starter.
All the damage was done with two outs. Castro singled, and Justin Bour belted a two-run, opposite-field home run. Brian Anderson and Derek Dietrich had back-to-back doubles to make it 3-0.
"I think the theme for me was, we get three in the first and we're just going to hold on," Mattingly said. "We're not going to keep playing aggressive. We're not going to stay ready to play, like we're going to sit there and hold these guys off for nine innings."
HEATED MOMENT DEFUSED
A potential dustup quickly settled in the fourth inning when Dietrich and Caratini stood toe-to-toe after they bumped at the plate. Both benches and bullpens cleared, but nothing materialized, and order was quickly restored.
The near flareup occurred after Lewis Brinson singled to right. Dietrich attempted to score from second, but right fielder Benjamin Zobrist made a strong throw to the plate. Caratini fielded the throw and was positioned in front of the plate, holding the ball. Dietrich, who didn't have a lane to the plate, attempted to push his way home, and was tagged out. The two stared at each other, and then exchanged words. While Dietrich didn't have a lane, Caratini already had the ball. About the only shoving was done playfully by Castro's former teammates with the Cubs.
• Bryant tickle-attacks Castro during dustup
"We were ahead, it was worth taking the shot," Dietrich said. "I ran hard. I think I was out by a lot. He went to make a tag and I wasn't there, so then he moved back in front of the plate. That's how we just collided. I tried to explain that to him, but, obviously, it's a little heated. That's baseball."
The out at the plate turned out to be a big one, because Miami was up, 3-2, at the time.
"It was rather entertaining," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "There was no reason for it. I was surprised. There was no animosity. It wasn't a dirty play, it was nothing. He's out by 52 feet, [Caratini] got the ball, he bumps into him, play over. It was kind of surprising. I don't think there was anyone who got heated. it probably required more tickling than punches."
Added Dietrich: "I was surprised we even cleared the benches for that one. At least I know our guys are ready to roll."
Bour's home run was his seventh of the season, third in May, and first at Wrigley Field since July 3, 2015.
HE SAID IT
"It does make it tough, because you're facing one guy and the next time around, it's a new guy in there. It's tough to help each other out, like we'd like to, up and down the lineup. 'Hey, what does this guy got?' What we're looking for and stuff like that. No excuses." -- Dietrich, on the Marlins seeing seven Chicago pitchers
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
With two out and a runner at first in the Marlins' third, Anderson hit a grounder to shortstop Addison Russell, whose throw appeared to pull Rizzo off first base. Anderson was called safe but the Cubs challenged the ruling and after a review, it was overturned.
Wei-Yin Chen has made 146 big league starts, and appeared in 150 games. On Wednesday, the lefty will pitch for the first time at Wrigley Field in the series finale at 2:20 p.m. ET. This is Chen's third start since coming off the DL. Jose Quintana goes for the Cubs. Catcher J.T. Realmuto is expected to get the day off.