CHICAGO (AP)—The Florida Marlins had no interest in another nail-biter.
After a spirited ninth-inning comeback on Thursday, Florida lost 2-1 on Friday.
“The loss (was like the type of losses we had all throughout June,” Stanton said, referring to a stretch where the Marlins lost 19 of 20. “We would let it soak in to us, but today we bounced back.”
“I like to see him hit the ball, put the ball in play,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “When he puts the ball in play, he hits it hard. He just has to cut down on the strikeouts, be a little more selective. Today, he was great.”
“That was a nice win after (Friday’s) sad performance,” he added.
Zambrano (6-5) was activated from the 15-day disabled list earlier in the day. He had a rocky 4 2-3 innings, giving up eight earned runs on seven hits and four walks.
It was Zambrano’s shortest outing of the season, not including his June 30 start when he left after an inning due to injury.
“I felt good, my fastball was good,” Zambrano said. “My arm, body (were) good. Intelligence? Not good. Bad pitches to Stanton twice.”
Vazquez (6-8) went seven innings, allowing just one hit through 5 2-3 before finding trouble in the sixth.
Kosuke Fukudome(notes) blooped a base hit to center and Starlin Castro(notes) reached on a slow roller down the third-base line. Aramis Ramirez(notes) then hit a three-run homer, his 16th of the year and 11th in 21 games.
“When your teammates score a lot of runs, it makes your job a lot easier because you can pound the strike zone without being afraid a pitch will hurt you. I just tried to stay aggressive and throw strikes,” Vazquez said.
Now 1-2 against the Cubs this season, Vazquez gave up four hits and walked none.
“I had my curveball working today, that helped me a lot. When they guys score a lot of runs, it makes your job a lot easier.”
Vazquez had been charged with just two earned runs over his last four starts (25 1-3 innings), and watched his ERA drop almost two runs over the last month.
“He’s throwing strikes, that’s the main thing,” McKeon said. “He’s changing speeds.”
Zambrano had been on the 15-day DL since July 1 with lower back stiffness after pitching one inning the previous day in a start against the Giants. He made a rehab start at Class A Peoria on July 8.
NOTES: With Zambrano’s activation, the Cubs optioned reliever Chris Carpenter to Iowa. “He did a great job here, nothing to disappoint us, but given the makeup of the bullpen he needs to go where he can pitch,” Cubs manager Mike Quade said. Carpenter had no decisions or saves and a 2.79 ERA in 10 relief appearances … Marlins SS Emilio Bonifacio’s(notes) eighth-inning infield single extended his hitting streak to 15 games. … A day after reaching 1,000 career hits, Hanley Ramirez got a start on reaching his next milestone with his first-inning double to right. Jeff Conine is second in club history with 1,005 hits … The four-game series concludes at 1:20 p.m. Sunday with Cubs righty Randy Wells(notes) (1-3, 6.80) making his 10th start of the season and first against Florida. The Marlins send right-handed Chris Volstad(notes) (5-8, 5.40 ERA) who is 0-1 against Chicago after a 5-1 loss on May 19 at Wrigley Field.