The Marlins could have lived out the same frustrating ending multiple times Wednesday night.
But after another blown early lead, their offense had the quick response.
And when another nearly slipped away in the eighth and ninth innings, closer A.J. Ramos shut the door twice to wrap up a grueling 6-5 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
The Marlins (25-33) salvaged the finale of the three-game set with the Cubs and won their first road game at Wrigley Field since July 3, 2015.
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"I think it’s important for us to win these one-run games," Ramos said. "It sets the tone and shows we can win these close ballgames. We’ve been losing a lot of these. It’s good to get one win out here at least and hopefully get some momentum rolling going into Pittsburgh."
The Marlins led 6-3 until Kyle Schwarber homered off David Phelps to open the seventh and delivered a clutch two-out double in the eighth to make it a one-run game. The homer was the first earned run allowed by Phelps since April 21 ending a stretch of 16 2/3 innings without one.
Ramos entered in the eighth and struck out Ian Happ. He then walked Anthony Rizzo in the ninth, but worked out of trouble for the four-out save – his ninth of the season.
"I was pumped to come into that situation," Ramos said. "The fans were cheering and they were gaining momentum and the game starting speeding up. Those are the situations I like to be in."
Ramos even helped himself defensively in that inning when he stopped a grounder back up the middle by Ben Zobrist with his foot and nearly turned a game-ending double play. He sealed it when he got Jason Heyward to fly out to center.
"I was trying to stop it which would have been a dumb move and is a dumb move most of the time you try to do that," Ramos said. "It stopped right by my foot, and I was like ‘oh there it is’ and threw it to first. I was hoping to get a double play, but I was able to get out of the inning."
J.T. Realmuto and Marcell Ozuna each hit home runs and J.T. Riddle delivered a clutch go-ahead single as the Marlins rallied from their own early one-run deficit.
But an aggressive base running by Dee Gordon led to a sixth Marlins’ run in the seventh, which ended up as the game-winner.
Gordon singled after a nine-pitch at-bat against reliever Brian Duensing and later stole second. Giancarlo Stanton swung and missed at a ball in the dirt that got away from Miguel Montero allowing Gordon to advance to third. But seeing that Montero did not get close enough to cover home after throwing out Stanton at first, Gordon ran home and beat the return throw.
"I kind of stutter-stepped," Gordon said. "I never stopped. And so when Rizzo caught it nonchalantly and I saw him looking at me, ‘All right, I got to run faster then.’ But the thing I saw the pitcher and the catcher both 30 feet away from the plate. We need a break every now and then."
Realmuto gave the Marlins the quick response they needed in the fourth off Cubs starter John Lackey with a 400-foot solo home run to left center that tied the game at 2. Realmuto’s fifth homer of the season was the first of four consecutive hits in the inning that led to three runs.
Derek Dietrich singled and would have scored had the ball Tyler Moore hit for a double not disappeared in the ivy in right field.
But Riddle delivered with a two-run single scored both Dietrich and Moore to give the Marlins a 4-2 lead, and snapped a 0-for-14 stretch with runners in scoring position in the series.
"I just wanted to see a pitch up and get something to hit and attack early." said Riddle, who has 20 RBI in 35 games played so far in his first season in the majors. "[Lackey] left a slider up and put a good swing on it."
Jose Urena, who allowed only one baserunner on a walk until that inning, ran into some trouble again in the fifth when he gave up a solo homer to Ian Happ and walked Kris Bryant.
But after walking him in the first and giving up that go-ahead double, Urena won the battle the third time around against Rizzo getting him to ground out to end the inning.
Urena lasted five innings, walked three and struck out five, allowing just three runs despite only three hits.
"For me it was just putting the ball down in the zone because sometimes the umpire is a little weird sometimes with calls there," Urena said. "I was thinking how do I attack the hitter and not go deep in the count early."