A.J. Ramos says pitching is contagious.
If that’s the case, Ramos was Typhoid Mary on Wednesday, as the Chicago Cubs took advantage of the Marlins’ poor bullpen work to rally for a 9-7 victory at Wrigley Field.
“I started it off and, for some reason, it just continued,” Ramos said of a bullpen meltdown that allowed a 6-3 lead in the sixth to crumble into a loss that ended a losing streak at three games.
Ramos gave up back-to-back walks in the seventh and a two-run single by Dioner Navarro before Ryan Webb took over and promptly gave up a go-ahead, two-run homer to former Marlin Donnie Murphy.
With the wind blowing out, the two teams combined for six home runs.
Adeiny Hechavarria hit his second grand slam of the season for the Marlins, and Logan Morrison put one out on Sheffield Avenue.
But the Marlins were overpowered in the end, preventing them from recording their first four-game winning streak since the middle of last season.
Marlins starter Brian Flynn had a so-so major-league debut, giving up solo home runs to Navarro and Starlin Castro in the fourth before exiting in the fifth.
“I was definitely not the sharpest, not the crispest,” said Flynn, who threw barely more than half his 81 pitches for strikes. “It’s one of those days where you dream about for a while … so it was kind of a letdown for me.”
Flynn singled in the fifth for his first big-league hit but said he would have gladly traded it for his first major-league win.
“Flynn, I thought he was OK,” Redmond said. “He was a little bit wild in the zone, and then he got decent hitters’ counts and they got a couple of runs off him.”
As for the bullpen?
“[On Tuesday night] the bullpen came in and it was lights out, and [Wednesday] it just didn’t happen,” Redmond said. “I thought when we got that big hit from Hech — that grand slam — I thought we were in business. I figured with A.J. coming in, he has done so well with the lead, and he walked the first two guys. And after that it was just trying to hold on.”
Giancarlo Stanton was relieved to find out a small boy who was struck by his bat when it came flying out of his hands was OK.
“Thank goodness,” Stanton said.
When Stanton lost the handle on his bat in the sixth, it went flying into the seats behind the Cubs dugout and struck the child, who was believed to be 3 or 4 years of age. The child’s father picked him up and whisked him away to get medical attention.
“The way his dad carried him off, it looked like the worst,” Stanton said. “It was terrible. I don’t have kids, but I have nieces and nephews. It’s never a good thing to see.”
But the family returned to their seats later in the game and the Cubs reported that the boy was not hurt seriously. Stanton said he intended to call the family later.
Top rookie again
Jose Fernandez was named the National League Rookie of the Month for August, making it the second consecutive month he has received the award. Fernandez went 3-1 with a 1.15 ERA in six starts last month, striking out 49 in 39 innings.
Fernandez is scheduled to make his next-to-last start of the season Friday at Marlins Park, where he has not lost in seven decisions.
Braves pitcher Alex Wood was second to Fernandez for top NL rookie in August.
Fernandez and the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig are considered the frontrunners for NL Rookie of the Year, which will be announced after the postseason.
Up the ladder
With a pinch-hit single and two steals Tuesday, Juan Pierre continued his climb up the ladder on a couple of baseball’s all-time lists. Pierre tied Willie Randolph and Carlos Beltran with 2,210 hits, leaving him one behind Willie McCovey and four in back of Joe DiMaggio.
Pierre, the majors’ active leader in career steals, ranks 13th on the all-time list with 613, seven behind Otis Nixon.
“It’s just hard for me grasp the names I’m associated with on the hits list,” Pierre said. “I almost feel like I don’t deserve to be on that list. Just to be in the same company with those guys is crazy.”
Pierre said he also is proud of the fact he piled up so many of his stolen bases during the steroids era, when the home run was king.
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