CHICAGO — Alec Mills and three relievers combined on a shutout and the Chicago Cubs bounced back from two lopsided losses to beat the Miami Marlins 2-0 Sunday and avoid a sweep.
Outscored 21-3 in the previous two days at Wrigley Field, the Cubs squeezed out the win despite managing just four hits. They also extended their season-high streak of scoring no more than three runs to eight games.
But Chicago came out on top thanks to a solid start by Mills (3-1) and a perfect performance by the bullpen.
Marlins rookie Zach Thompson (1-2) took the hard-luck loss after holding the held the Cubs to one unearned run over four no-hit innings.
Pinch-hitter Patrick Wisdom opened the fifth against Miami reliever Ross Detweiler by singling on the 15th pitch of the at-bat, hanging in after falling behind 0-2 and hitting nine foul balls to give himself more chances.
Wisdom later scored on Joc Pederson’s single to make it 2-0. The Cubs came away with the win after dropping five of six to fall into a first-place tie with Milwaukee in the NL Central.
Mills worked around six hits over five innings. The right-hander struck out three without a walk.
The bullpen shut down Miami the rest of the way, with Ryan Tepera throwing two innings and Andrew Chafin working the eighth before Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth for his 20th save in 22 chances.
It was just what the Cubs needed after getting knocked around for 10 or more runs in back-to-back home games for the first time since August 2015 against Detroit.
Thompson struck out seven and walked three in his third major league start. The 27-year-old right-hander threw 73 pitches, after beating Atlanta for his first career win eight days earlier.
Adam Duvall went 0 for 4 after joining Derrek Lee in 2002 and Giancarlo Stanton in 2016 as the only Marlins with back-to-back multi-homer games. Duvall hit a grand slam and two-run shot Friday and two more two-run drives on Saturday.
The Cubs selected LHP Kyle Ryan from Triple-A Iowa and optioned RHP Cory Abbott to Iowa. They also designated RHP Robert Stock for assignment.
Cubs: Manager David Ross acknowledged INF Matt Duffy’s recovery from a strained lower back is taking longer than the Cubs expected. Duffy has not played since May 22. “It’s something that’s I think more of a chronic injury that we want to make sure that we take care of before we get him back,” Ross said. … The Cubs hope to have 2B Nico Hoerner (strained left hamstring) start a rehab assignment in the next week to 10 days. … LHP Justin Steele (right hamstring strain), sidelined since May 20, threw a bullpen session on Sunday.
Marlins: Miami opens a two-game series against Toronto in Buffalo on Tuesday, with RHP Sandy Alcantara (4-6, 3.09 ERA) starting for the Marlins and RHP Ross Stripling (2-4, 4.64) pitching for the Blue Jays. Alcantara lost 1-0 at St. Louis last week, when Paul Goldschmidt reached on an error by shortstop Jazz Chisholm Jr. leading off the ninth and scored on Yadier Molina’s one-out single.
Cubs: RHP Adbert Alzolay (4-5, 4.06) returns from a blister on his right middle finger as the Cubs open a two-game series against Cleveland. RHP Aaron Civale (10-2, 3.48), tops in the majors in wins, starts for the Indians.
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