Marlins edge Cubs 4-3, complete sweep of cooling North Siders

For the first time this season, it's gut check time for the Chicago Cubs.

After a 12-7 start, manager David Ross' squad has dropped six of eight, including Sunday's 4-3 setback at Miami.

The Marlins, who got a game-winning sacrifice fly from Luis Arraez in the eighth inning off Keegan Thompson, swept the Cubs, with each victory coming by 1 run. Miami is 10-0 in one-run games and 16-13 overall.

With Justin Steele starting on the mound, the Cubs (14-13) figured to patch together a victory and stem the bleeding from a recent run of failures.

But the sloppy play from Saturday carried over to Sunday. Oh, and the clutch hitting that's been nonexistent of late? Nothing changed there either. The Cubs in this series went 6-for-25 with runners in scoring position and left 23 runners on base.

"It's just part of 162 (games)," Ross told reporters. "I didn't think we played bad baseball. We didn't get the big hit this series, they did. That's just baseball."

Miami tied the game in the third when Garrett Hampson raced home after catcher Yan Gomes failed to snare a called third strike on Garrett Cooper. Steele then gave up an RBI single to Arraez on an 0-2 count.

Steele (6 IP, 2 earned runs, 7 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts) wasn't as sharp as usual, but he did get out of that third-inning jam by inducing Jean Segura to hit into a 5-3 double play.

The Cubs tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth when Cody Bellinger's sacrifice fly drove in Seiya Suzuki, who led off with a triple. After Patrick Wisdom flew out, Eric Hosmer (single), Edwin Rios (walk) and Gomes (HBP) loaded the bases for the Cubs.

Nico Hoerner struck out looking on an 81 mph slider, however, and the threat was over.

The Cubs, who did get a solo homer from Bellinger (7) in the sixth, blew two other golden opportunities:

• After Hoerner produced a one-out single and advanced to second on a wild pitch in the seventh, Dansby Swanson struck out looking. Ian Happ was then intentionally walked, and Suzuki lined out to right field.

• Wisdom and Trey Mancini notched back-to-back one-out singles in the eighth, but Wisdom was doubled off second after Nelson Velazquez's line drive was caught by third baseman Segura.

Hoerner has reached base in 25 straight games. Suzuki now has 3 career triples in 662 plate appearances.

As for Arraez, he finished April with an MLB-best .438 average.

"It's been good because we've been winning," said Arraez, who won the AL batting title with Minnesota last season. "Personally it's been amazing because I work hard for this and thank God."

The Cubs have a good chance to right the ship as they travel to Washington for a four-game set against the Nationals (9-17).

Cubs starting pitcher Justin Steele, center, talks to pitching coach Mel Stollemyre during the third inning of a game against the Marlins on Sunday, April 30, 2023, in Miami. Steele (5 IP, 5 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts) wasn't as sharp as usual, but he did get out of that third-inning jam by inducing Jean Segura to hit into a 5-3 double play. Associated Press
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.