Cubs’ Zach Davies strong stretch ends vs. Marlins

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Davies’ strong stretch ends in blowout vs. Marlins originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Zach Davies was picking up where he left off.

The Cubs starting pitcher retired the first six Marlins hitters he faced Friday night at Wrigley Field. It looked like the beginning of another promising outing for the right-hander, who was coming off back-to-back scoreless starts.

Five batters later, Davies’ scoreless streak was over. Two after that, the Cubs were down 5-1, a deficit they didn’t overcome in an eventual 10-2 loss to Miami.

“It looked like he either didn't have his best stuff or just got a little careful there,” manager David Ross said.

Davies was riding a 14 2/3-inning scoreless streak when a 107.6 mph comebacker from Jorge Alfaro deflected off the side of his upper leg in the third. He stayed in the game, and while he didn't use the comebacker as an excuse for what ensued, the moment represented a turning point.

“For me as a pitcher, as a competitor, I want to stay in the game,” Davies said. “I felt like I could make pitches.”

Jon Berti followed Alfaro with a single. Then came the top of the order, with leadoff hitter Jazz Chisholm Jr. walking on five pitches. Davies had Starlin Marte in a 3-2 count, missing down and away on a changeup to force in a run.

Two batters later, Adam Duvall broke things open with a grand slam.

“Sometimes, I think you can get into that mindset of not trying to give up one and it kind of burns you on the back end of that,” Ross said. “That looks like what it had a little bit tonight.”

Davies offered another idea.

“You kind of see what their approach is, but it's hard as a pitcher to believe that it's a full lineup-type approach,” he said. “It seemed as if they were sitting offspeed pretty much the whole time.”

Davies allowed just a single the next two innings but ran into trouble in the sixth. After two more Miami singles, Berti sent his 0-0 sinker to the bleachers for a two-out three-run homer, putting the game out of reach.

The right-hander entered the day having allowed just 10 earned runs in his last nine starts (1.86 ERA). In his six innings Friday, he surrendered eight runs (a career high), all earned.

"Up until that sixth inning, I felt like I adjusted after the third," Davies said. "I felt like I tried to keep the team in the game.

"I made a mistake and the game got out of hand. So, move on tomorrow, clean up the leg, start throwing again and just move on to the next start."

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