The Cubs put up their highest three-game run total in three weeks, their bullpen sustained a series-collective ERA of 0.96, and the Cubs continued their hot streak by taking two of three games against the Miami Marlins.
The North Siders have now brought their record up to 30-28, one game behind the N.L. Central leaders.
Kris Bryant maintained the Cubs’ momentum from last weekend’s sweep into the series opener, belting a two-run homer in the first inning and giving his team a lead they wouldn’t lose.
Albert Almora tacked on a solo shot of his own three innings later, putting the Cubs at an early 3-0 advantage.
Eddie Butler made it into the sixth inning, when he allowed the Marlins’ only run on a sac fly by Dee Gordon to score J.T. Riddle, who had doubled to lead off the inning.
This prompted Joe Maddon to bring in lefty reliever Mike Montgomery, who pitched the final ten outs and got his second career save — the first, of course, bringing the Cubs a World Series title.
Jake Arrieta pitched his way into trouble right off the bat in the first inning, allowing just one hit and walking two to load the bases full of Marlins, but escaped with minimal damage done.
J.T. Realmuto bounced a double play ball to short, but his weak contact gave him enough time to beat the throw, scoring Giancarlo Stanton from third.
Arrieta, however, was able to find an impressive groove, and retired the next 15 consecutive Marlin batters.
The Cubs couldn’t make anything happen on offense until the fifth inning, when a little two-out rally put them in the lead. Jon Jay and Kris Bryant both walked and Anthony Rizzo made Miami starter Jeff Locke pay, smashing a three-run homer out to right field.
Then, after shortstop J.T. Riddle flubbed an easy grounder off the bat of Willson Contreras, Jason Heyward doubled Contreras home, making the score 4-1.
The Marlins would score one more run after Realmuto tripled and scored on a ground ball from Riddle, but the Cubs completely shut the door on any hopes for Miami in the bottom half of the inning.
Six runs crossed the plate in the bottom of the seventh, solely from stringing hits together. A double, single, double, single, double, walk, and a double combined to give the Cubs a 10-2 lead, a score that became the final as clean innings from Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon brought the blowout to a finish.
The Marlins jumped out to the early lead once again as Dee Gordon led off the game with a triple and scored on Christian Yelich’s sac fly.
As if they were trying to repeat the previous match, Rizzo was once again the one to put the Cubs ahead, doing so with a two-out two-run double three innings into the game.
Tonight, however, the Marlins struck back. Realmuto homered the very next inning to tie it, and Riddle lined a two-RBI single over second baseman Ben Zobrist’s glove to put the Fish up 4-2.
Marcell Ozuna’s solo blast in the fifth and a wild pitch by relief pitcher Brian Duensing to score another Miami run gave the appearance that the Marlins would run away with the victory, but the Cubs had other plans.
Ian Happ added a solo homer of his own, and Kyle Schwarber both homered and doubled in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, bringing the Cubs to within one run entering the last of the ninth.
A.J. Ramos was able to slam the door, however, allowing only one base runner (a walk to Anthony Rizzo) en route to his ninth save of the season, ending the Cubs’ five-game win streak.
The N.L.-West first-place Colorado Rockies (38-23) come to town for a four game weekend set. Jon Lester will oppose Colorado righty Tyler Chatwood Thursday night, with the first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. The two teams met about a month ago in Coors Field, where the Rockies took two of three.