The day belonged to Henderson Alvarez at Wrigley Field on Monday.
Alvarez not only pitched the Marlins to a 4-3 victory over the Cubs, but blasted a three-run home run that put them ahead for good. He also contributed at the plate with a single and sacrifice bunt.
“You talk about a pitcher having a big day,” said manager Mike Redmond. “He gives us six innings, hits a three-run homer, another base hit, lays down a bunt and then strains his hamstring. That’s a heckuva day. That’s leaving it all out on the field.”
Alvarez was taken out after six innings with a tight hamstring that he said shouldn’t cost him a start.
With a smile on his face, Alvarez said he didn’t injure the hamstring on his home run trot.
After giving up three runs in the first inning, Alvarez made up for his mound failure with his towering shot to left in the second off Cubs starter Travis Wood. It was the first home run by a Marlins pitcher since June of last season when Carlos Zambrano put one out.
“As soon as the ball hit the bat, I knew it was a home run,” Alvarez said.
Had the wind not been blowing in, Alvarez’s shot probably would have landed on Waveland Avenue.
“That ball was crushed,” said rookie Christian Yelich, who hit a homer of his own in the first and added two more singles later in the game.
Steve Cishek closed out the win for his 29th save.
Hand has been starting at Triple A New Orleans. But Redmond said he would be used out of the bullpen with the Marlins, though he could make a spot start between now and the end of the season.
UPCOMING• Tuesday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (2-5, 3.76) at Chicago Cubs RHP Edwin Jackson (7-14, 4.90), 8:05 p.m., Wrigley Field.
• Wednesday: Marlins LHP Brian Flynn (major league debut) at Chicago Cubs RHP Jeff Samardzija (8-1, 4.13), 2:20 p.m., Wrigley Field.
• Scouting report: Over his past five starts, Tom Koehler is 0-3 with a 5.93 ERA. He will be making his first career start against the Cubs.