MIAMI (AP) — David DeJesus impacted the game with his first and last at-bat.
After doubling and scoring a run to lead-off the game, DeJesus hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning to help lift the Chicago Cubs to a 3-2 win over the struggling Miami Marlins on Saturday night.
“I was able to get the fastball that I wanted and hit it up the middle and not try to do too much with it,” DeJesus said. “After I hit it I yelled to the dugout like, ‘Yeah!’ We needed that little separation. … Definitely a good win.”
Travis Wood (2-1) pitched six innings allowing two runs and struck out five for Chicago, which has won four of five.
“Travis was really good,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “He gave up a couple home runs but other than that he’s as good as he’s been.”
Three relievers held the lead to get to Kevin Gregg, who pitched a perfect ninth for his third save.
“The bullpen’s been unbelievable this entire road trip,” Sveum said. “They did it again tonight.”
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton hit his first home run of the season, an estimated 472-foot drive over the left-field scoreboard off of Wood.
“Normally I do not like watching, them, I get mad,” Wood said, “but as soon as he hit it I said, ‘That one is going to go a ways.’ So, I watched that one.”
It was the longest home run hit by a Miami player in Marlins Park history.
“I guess if you’re going to give them up you don’t want to give up any cheapies,” Sveum said. “That was about as far as I’ve seen a ball hit.”
It was Stanton’s first home run since Oct. 1, a span of 72 at-bats, and one of the longest he has hit.
“That was pretty good,” Stanton said. “Here I’ve hit a few of those foul, those same type of ones so it was finally good to get on the right side of the pole.”
Miguel Olivo also homered for Miami, which dropped to 5-19, the worst record in baseball.
“We did some good things,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “Stanton hit his first home run and Miggy hit a big home run, we had some good at-bats, but I feel like I’m saying the same thing every single night, and I really am, we’re right there.”
A crowd of 27,519 was on hand at Marlins Park, the most since the home opener on April 8 against Atlanta, and a substantial increase from the 17,325 they have averaged since then.
Welington Castillo led off the seventh with a single off Alex Sanabia (2-3), who retired the next two batters before being lifted in favor of Mike Dunn. Dunn walked Julio Borbon before DeJesus singled up the middle to score Castillo for a 3-2 lead.
“It was on my shoulders tonight and I didn’t get the job done,” Dunn said.
Sanabia allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Miami threatened in the seventh when the first two batters reached base off of Kameron Loe, but Olivo bounced into a double play as Anthony Rizzo made a nice scoop at first base for the second out. Loe got out of the inning when Chris Valaika flew out to right.
Austin Kearns had an opportunity to tie it in the eighth against Carlos Marmol. With runners on first and second, Kearns hit a sharp grounder that shortstop Starlin Castro made a diving stop to his left and used a backhand flip to second base for a forceout to end the inning.
“When I saw the ball I tried to make that play,” Castro said. “That’s the run that would tie the game. If I don’t catch that ball maybe we’re still playing.”
DeJesus scored the Cubs first run when he doubled leading off the game, advanced to third on an error by Stanton in right field, and scored on a wild pitch. Stanton tied the game in the bottom of the first his homer.
Luis Valbuena hit an RBI single in the second, which was matched by Olivo’s home run.
NOTES: Cubs RF Nate Schierholtz made a diving catch near the foul line in the sixth inning to take an extra-base hit away from Stanton. “It’s a great play, I don’t to be on the other side, but I’ve done it to people too, it doesn’t feel the best,” Stanton said. … After learning that Stanton’s homer was estimated at 472 feet, Sveum said, “I think they’re a little short.” … Chicago starters have a 3.02 ERA, which ranks second in the National League only trailing St. Louis. … Marlins SS Adeiny Hechavarria (shoulder) will begin a two-game rehab assignment with Class-A Jupiter on Monday and is expected to be ready to play with the big league club on May 2 when he is eligible to come off of the disabled list. … The Cubs will send RHP Carlos Villanueva (1-0, 1.53 ERA) to the mound for Sunday’s series finale and the Marlins will counter with RHP Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 3.81 ERA), who is 4-2 with a 2.85 ERA against the team that drafted him in 2001.