Valbuena's home run lifts Cubs in Miami
MIAMI – Luis Valbuena hit a tie-breaking solo home run in the ninth inning to lift the Chicago Cubs to a 4-3 win over the Miami Marlins on Thursday night.
The Marlins fell to 5-17 which matches the worst start in franchise history through 22 games according to STATS. Miami had the same record in 1995.
Shawn Camp (1-1) pitched the eighth and Carlos Marmol got the final three outs for his second save in four opportunities.
Nate Schierholtz doubled and homered for the Cubs, which scored the final three runs of the game.
Valbuena put the first pitch he saw from Steve Cishek (1-3) into the Marlins bullpen in right-center field with two outs in the ninth breaking a 3-all tie.
Marmol walked Donovan Solano to begin the bottom of the ninth and Austin Kearns lined a single to left to put Solano in scoring position with no outs. Juan Pierre's bunt was fielded cleanly by catcher Welington Castillo, who threw to third for the force out. Placido Polanco lined out to center.
Giancarlo Stanton struck out to end the game handing the Marlins their fourth loss in the last five games.
Schierholtz tied the game 3-3 in the sixth with a solo home run down off Kevin Slowey the right-field line hitting the foul pole just over the fence. It was his third home run of the season.
Slowey allowed three runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out six as he threw 76 of 114 pitches for strikes.
Cubs starter Edwin Jackson also allowed three runs and five hits in six innings while striking out four and walking four.
Both teams scored a run in the first inning as Starlin Castro had an RBI single for the Cubs and Rob Brantley drew a bases loaded walk for Miami.
Pierre drove in the Marlins second run with a single to center, then stole second and third, and scored on a groundout by Giancarlo Stanton for a 3-1 lead.
Back-to-back doubles by Schierholtz and Castillo pulled the visitors within 3-2.
NOTES: Jackson is 1-6 with a 6.39 ERA in nine games against Miami. ... A pair of Marlins are getting closer to making their return from shoulder injuries as SS Adeiny Hechavarria is expected to have a rehab assignment next week with Single-A Jupiter before rejoining the big league club when he is eligible to come off the disabled list on May 2 and RHP Henderson Alvarez will have a 45-pitch simulated game on Saturday and will make a rehab start with Jupiter on May 2. ... The Cubs will send RHP Scott Feldman (0-3, 4.50 ERA) to the mound Friday to oppose Marlins LHP Wade LeBlanc (0-3, 6.27 ERA).