- Jesse Rogers, Chicago Cubs beat reporter
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How it happened: A back and forth game tilted the Cubs' way in a four-run seventh inning after Adeiny Hechavarria put the Marlins in front with a sixth-inning grand slam. Donnie Murphy hit his ninth home run of the season to give the Cubs the lead for good after Dioner Navarro drove in a pair with a base hit. Navarro also homered in the third inning, three batters after Starlin Castro hit one out to right field. Logan Morrison got the Marlins on the board with a long home run to right off Jeff Samardzija in the second inning but Samardzija settled down until the sixth. With the Cubs leading 3-2, he gave up a two singles, a walk, a home run and a double before ending his day. He gave up six runs in six innings. The Cubs added a run in the eighth as Castro drove home Brian Bogusevic on a hit-and-run. The Marlins left the tying runs on base in the ninth as Kevin Gregg notched his 29th save.
What it means: The offense was all well and good but Samardzija’s second straight meltdown with the lead is troubling. Last time out he let the Philadelphia Phillies back into the game with a 5-0 lead. This time the lowly Marlins pounded him in that sixth inning. Against the Phillies it was the fifth inning, so maybe Samardzija is tiring as he inches toward 200 innings. He doesn't like the reputation that he only pitches in big games but he continues to revert back to that notion as his meltdowns are inexplicable.
Outside the box: The announced attendance of 20,697 was the lowest of the season ... A boy in the stands was hit with a bat after Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins swung and missed at a pitch in the top of the sixth inning. His family rushed him to first-aid but the Cubs say he is fine and he returned to the game. ... Castro is 9 for 24 with two home runs on the homestand after a 2-for-5 day. He's also driven in six runs since last Friday. ... No decision has been made on Scott Baker’s immediate future. The Cubs can activate him as a long reliever or shut him down as he's been in a season-long recovery from Tommy John surgery.
What's next: The Cubs have an off day on Thursday before beginning a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday. Chris Rusin faces Kyle Lohse in the opener at 1:20 p.m. CT Friday at Wrigley Field.
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