How it happened: Anthony Rizzo hit a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the 13th to win the game. Hector Rondon gave up a 3-0 lead in the ninth, but only one ball was hit hard off him as three bloops contributed to the blown save. Former Cub Reed Johnson came through with a two-out, two-run single to tie the game after Chicago was aided by a replay challenge reversal. Both starting pitchers were dealing -- Jason Hammel for the Cubs and Nathan Eovaldi for the Marlins -- until Eovaldi blinked and gave up two hard-hit balls with two out in the fifth as Chicago broke a scoreless tie. Nate Schierholtz broke up Eovaldi’s perfect effort with a single and Chris Coghlan followed with a double to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Hammel gave up some hard-hit outs and put runners on base in the early innings, but never cracked. He was as good as ever, going seven innings, giving up six hits and one walk while striking out eight.
What it means: The Cubs bullpen has been great lately and Rondon didn’t exactly get rocked, so it’s hard to say “same old, same old” when it comes to the ninth inning. This was the exception not the rule, at least as of late.
Hammel pitched to his defense, as most of the hard-hit balls were right at people, and the right-hander always made the big pitch when he needed it. He’s been dominant in nearly every start this season, and now he has a nifty scoreless streak of 14 innings over two starts. He’s walked one and struck out 16 in that stretch.
The Cubs won their season-high fourth game in a row and again it was role players contributing -- Schierholtz and Coghlan have been in the middle of a couple wins -- though it was Rizzo with the big blow Friday. It’s the Cubs' best stretch of the year.