CHICAGO (AP) — Drew Smyly kicked the white ball in the seventh inning for his first win at Wrigley Field for the Cubs, leading Chicago past the Miami Marlins 4-0 on Saturday.
PJ Higgins homered and singled, and Nico Hoerner added three hits and an RBI to help the Cubs edge Miami for the second straight day after dropping five in a row.
Ian Happ had two hits and scored a run and Willson Contreras had an RBI single. The All-Stars, Happ and Contreras were the subject of trade rumors before Tuesday’s deadline, but remained with Chicago.
The Marlins lost six of seven and were shut out for the 12th time this season.
Smyly (4-6) ultimately prevailed at home in his sixth start this season at Wrigley after signing a one-year, $5.25 million contract in March that includes incentive pay and a 2023 option. 33-year-old right-hander allowed five hits. , struck out four and didn’t walk before being replaced by Mark Leiter Jr. with two out in the seventh.
Leiter retired Miami’s next seven batters.
Smyly was 11-4 last season for World Series champion Atlanta, but missed six weeks this year with an oblique stump. He returned on July 10 but had struggled since, with a 6.06 ERA in four starts before Saturday.
Miami’s Pablo López (7-7) allowed four runs on nine hits over five innings.
Smyly got help when the Cubs stopped Miami from taking a 1-0 third lead with a successful challenge.
Miguel Rojas was ruled safe by plate umpire Larry Vanover when he attempted to score from second on Bryan De La Cruz’s right-hand single. The call was called off after video showed receiver PJ Higgins tagged De La Cruz’s foot inches from the spot after taking Seiya Suzuki’s strong pitch.
Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Happ doubled up and Hoerner brought it home. The Cubs added two more in the fifth.
Higgins started the sixth with a solo shot just inside the left-field foul post to chase López.
Happ made a leaping hold to the left side wall on Joey Wendle’s volley to take Miami down in the eighth.
THE SECOND TIME
Smyly first signed with the Cubs as a free agent in December 2017, but never pitched for them as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. He was traded to Texas in November 2018.
Chicago reinstated 11-year-old veteran shortstop Andrelton Simmons from the injured list on Saturday, then named the four-time Golden Glove winner for pre-game assignment
Simmons signed a $4 million contract with the Cubs in March and appeared to be slated for a regular role. But the 32-year-old appeared in just 34 games due to two right shoulder injuries, batting .173 with seven RBIs.
Simmons hadn’t played in a game with Chicago since July 10 against the Dodgers, but had just completed a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa.
I HAVE ONE
Marlins LF Peyton Burdick scored a single in the third for his first hit in the majors. He made his major league debut on Friday and stoked three times.
Marlins: RHP Elieser Hernandez has been activated from the COVID-19 injured list. RHP Aneurys Zabala has been nominated for the assignment.
Cubs: Rookie Christopher Morel left the game with a right hamstring tightness after breaking an 0-for-25 drop with a single at fifth and scoring. It is day to day.
Miami LHP Jesus Luzardo (2-4, 3.97 ERA) takes on Chicago RHP Adrian Sampson (0-2, 3.74) on Sunday. Luzardo allowed two runs and struck out five in five innings against Cincinnati last Monday, in his first major league outing since May 10. The 24-year-old southpaw had been sidelined with a left forearm injury.
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