David Bote homered to tie the score in the seventh and lofted a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth as the visiting Chicago Cubs defeated the Miami Marlins 2-1 on Tuesday night.
The Marlins (61-88) and Cubs (63-85) — both out of playoff contention — will play the rubber game of this series on Wednesday. Miami won the opener 10-3 on Monday.
Cubs second baseman Esteban Quiroz, 30, made his first major league start and got his first hit, a ground-ball single to center in the first inning. He finished 2-for-3, including a key bunt single in the eighth.
Quiroz also made a spectacular defensive play in the seventh, diving to his left, stabbing Jacob Stallings’ grounder and firing to first to get the out on a two-hop throw from the right-field grass.
Cubs reliever Adbert Alzolay (1-1) earned the win, pitching two scoreless innings. Rookie Brandon Hughes earned his sixth save with a scoreless ninth.
Marlins reliever Steven Okert (5-4) took the loss.
Miami starter Pablo Lopez threw 105 pitches and lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing five hits, no walks and one run on Bote’s homer.
Chicago’s Adrian Sampson went six innings, allowing eight hits, one walk and one run.
Miami got to Sampson in the second inning with JJ Bleday’s leadoff walk and three singles. Jordan Groshans got the RBI with his hard-hit single that deflected off the glove of Bote at third base.
Bote atoned in the seventh with his homer on a 2-2 fastball. Bote hammered the pitch 419 feet to left-center for just his third homer of the year but his second this month.
Chicago took a 2-1 lead in the eighth on a rally that started when Okert hit Michael Hermosillo with a pitch. Zach McKinstry bunted, and both runners were safe after catcher Stallings threw to second and did not get the out. Quiroz then placed a perfect bunt between home and third, loading the bases.
Bote, on a 2-2 slider, drove the ball to left for the go-ahead sac fly.
Miami threatened in the ninth against Hughes as Garrett Cooper doubled off the wall in right-center.
But Hughes struck out Brian Anderson on a check swing, got Bryan De La Cruz on a fly to center and retired Stallings on a liner to right. Cubs right fielder Nelson Velazquez raced back to make the play, ending the game.
Miami’s Jon Berti, who leads the majors with 36 stolen bases, was caught stealing in the first inning on a strong throw by catcher P.J. Higgins. It was just the fifth time Berti has been caught stealing this year.
–Field Level Media
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