MIAMI — Brad Hand pitched six innings to earn his fifth victory in 33 career starts, and the Miami Marlins beat the Cubs, 5-2, on Tuesday.
Hand (1-1) improved his career record as a starter to 5-18. Even with the victory, his winning percentage as a starter (.217) is the lowest in the majors among active pitchers with at least 20 decisions, according to STATS.
Giancarlo Stanton hit a solo homer, his 16th. He has seven of Miami's 14 homers at Marlins Park this year.
[MORE CUBS: Cubs hope ankle injury doesn't force Jorge Soler onto DL]
Rookie Addison Russell's baserunning blunder helped A.J. Ramos earn his fifth save in seven chances. The Cubs had runners at first and second with one out when Chris Coghlan singled to right, but Stanton fielded the ball and threw out Russell taking too big a turn at second.
Miguel Montero then struck out to end the game.
Marcell Ozuna hit a two-out, three-run double off Kyle Hendricks (1-2) that put Miami ahead to stay in the fifth.
It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.
Sosa hit the 30-homer threshold on June 21, 1998 in only his 71st game of the season. For perspective, the 2018 Cubs leader in homers on June 21 is Javy Baez with 14 and Mike Trout leads all of baseball with only 23.
At this point, Mark McGwire was ahead of Sosa, but the Cubs slugger was pulling closer. McGwire had 33 dingers on June 21 while Ken Griffey Jr. had 28 and Greg Vaughn had 25.
Sosa' June 21 homer came off Tyler Green and was his 5th blast of the series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field that year. But the Cubs lost that series, despite Sosa's efforts.
Fun fact: Sosa drove in 10 runs in the three-game series with the Phillies that summer while the rest of his teammates combined for only 9 RBI.
The Cubs have been a different team the last six weeks, looking a lot more like the resilient bunch from 2016 than the sluggish 2017 squad that lacked energy. After some wacky circumstances Monday and a tough loss in Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Cubs came out and showed what they’re made of in the last two games of the series against the Dodgers, a team that knocked them out of postseason play last fall.
Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki sum up the longest short homestand (or shortest long homestand?), updating the status of Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow, the Cubs pitching staff and how the team is rounding into form as the season’s halfway mark approaches.
Check out the entire podcast here: