Lee hits grand slam, Marlins beat Cubs 9-5
CHICAGO (AP)—As much as he hates Wrigley Field, Ozzie Guillen had to enjoy this one.
Lee’s slam against Travis Wood highlighted a five-run fifth and tied him with Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams for seventh on baseball’s career list with 17.
Omar Infante also homered and had three hits, giving him 17 in 36 at-bats at Wrigley Field. Hanley Ramirez also went deep in the game to back a strong start by Anibal Sanchez (5-6), and the Marlins won their second straight after dropping four of five.
“Little by little, hopefully we start getting better,” Guillen said. “We got big hits. Carlos has been taking over in RBI situations, doing a tremendous job going after it and bringing those guys in. We’re going to need more than that.”
Overall, though, he liked what he saw in his first game in Chicago since a messy split with the White Sox at the end of last season. He led the South Siders to a 678-617 record that included a championship in 2005, their first since 1917, but his tenure ended after his relationship with general manager Ken Williams disintegrated.
On Tuesday, he heard plenty of boos. Hardly a surprise, given he was on the North Side and visiting the old ballpark that he has blasted as a rat-infested dump.
He said his wife was booing him.
“I asked why and she said she didn’t want them to know she was my wife because she’d be killed in the stands,” Guillen said. “I respect them. That’s fine.”
The Cubs simply couldn’t strike the big blow, stranding 10 runners, and took the loss after winning 12 of 16. It didn’t help, either, that Wood (4-4) unraveled after winning his previous four starts. The left-hander lasted just 4 2-3 innings, giving up eight hits and eight runs.
Miami scored three against him in the fourth, with Infante’s two-run drive to left capping that rally. They then chased him during a five-run fifth, the big blow coming when Lee drove the first pitch to the left-field seats after Sanchez, Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio all singled to start the inning.
The slam was Lee’s first since July 25, 2011, with Houston. It was also his first homer since the Marlins acquired him from the Astros on July 4.
“You go out there and try to hit home runs, you’re going to fail 90 percent of the time, and I know it,” Lee said.
Wood simply shrugged off that blow, saying, “Lee hit a good pitch. It was down and in. He just dropped the barrel.”
That was plenty for Sanchez, who allowed nine hits but just two runs (one earned) over seven innings while striking out seven and walking two. He gave up a solo homer to Jeff Baker in the fifth. The Cubs got another run in the sixth when Geovany Soto doubled and came around after Ramirez let Joe Mather’s grounder to third go under his glove.
Ramirez made up for it in the seventh with a solo shot that made it 9-2, his second hit of the game.
“We played a great game,” Lee said. “Anibal pitched a great game. We got on base, we got some key hits. That’s the name of the game.”
Notes: When fans booed him during a pitching change in the eighth, Guillen responded by pointing toward his ring finger on his left hand—the one where he would wear his championship ring. … The Marlins’ Carlos Zambrano, who had his issues when he pitched for the Cubs, said he got a warm welcome when he visited the city about two weeks ago. Miami was visiting Milwaukee and he went to check on his Chicago house. “People in the street were very appreciative of me. … They say, `Too bad that you left. We miss you Z.’ I appreciate that. But there are some people that don’t like me. There’s nothing I can do about it.” Zambrano is not scheduled to start in this series. … Cubs manager Dale Sveum said he doesn’t foresee an innings limit on first-year starter Jeff Samardzija. The 27-year-old right-hander is 6-8 with a 4.71 ERA in 17 starts and is on pace for about 186. His career high in the minors was 141 2-3 in 2007. His previous high in the majors was 88 innings as a reliever in 2011. Samardzija starts for the Cubs on Wednesday against Josh Johnson (5-6, 4.28).