'Murphy Show' powers Cubs past Marlins
CHICAGO -- If September is time to audition for next season then Donnie Murphy might be in line for a major role in 2014.
The Cubs third baseman slammed a go-ahead home run to cap a four-run seventh inning as Chicago beat the Miami Marlins 9-7 to salvage the finale of a three-game series on Wednesday afternoon.
"The Murphy Show continues," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He's healthy. Through (much) of his major league career he's been on the disabled list and hurt, and never really got a chance. Obviously, he's getting a chance here and he's making the most of it."
Murphy has nine home runs -- eight since Aug. 6 -- and is on a seven-game hitting streak. And he admits he's starting to consider prospects for next season.
"I'm starting to think about it a little more, but at the same time not trying to get too far ahead of myself ... and affect my play on the field," said Murphy, whose ninth home run drove in Dioner Navarro for an 8-7 lead. "It's nice to be given that opportunity and they have faith in you in those situations. I'm just having a lot of fun right now."
Starlin Castro singled home pinch-hitter Brian Bogusevic in the eighth to account for the final score of the day.
Chicago's victory snapped a two-game skid as Carlos Villanueva (4-8) got the win and Kevin Gregg collected his 29th save. Marlins reliever Ryan Webb (2-6) took the loss.
Adeiny Hechavarria clubbed a sixth-inning grand slam off starter Jeff Samardzija to put the Marlins up 6-3. B they couldn't hold the lead.
Samardzija was charged with six earned runs on nine hits, while walking two and striking out nine in his 10th no-decision outing.
Marlins starter Brian Flynn worked four innings in his major league debut, allowing three earned runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out two.
"I was (looking forward) to this day for a while and you'd like to have your best stuff," Flynn said. "I was definitely not as sharp or as crisp."
Hechavarria went 3-for-4 with four RBIs while Giancarlo Stanton added two hits and scored twice for the Marlins.
Navarro went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, while Castro went 2-for-5 with two runs batted in for the Cubs.
Logan Morrison gave Miami a 2-0 lead in the second with a wind-aided home run to right field. The Cubs replied with one run in the bottom of the inning as Junior Lake scored on Darnell McDonald's double to left.
Chicago took a 3-2 lead in the third with solo home runs from Castro and Navarro.
Flynn left the game in the fifth after allowing a leadoff double to Darwin Barney and a walk to Anthony Rizzo. Right-handed reliever Chris Hatcher got out of the inning unscathed.
"Flynn was a little bit wild in the zone," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "They got some decent hitter counts and got a couple of runs off him. And last night the bullpen came in and it was lights out. Today it didn't happen."
Samardzija unraveled in the sixth when he loaded the bases and gave up the grand slam to Hechavarria on a 1-0 pitch.
Ryan Sweeney trimmed the deficit to 6-4 in the sixth with a one-out, solo homer off reliever Arquimedes Caminero.
The Marlins got the run back in the seventh off reliever Villanueva when Donovan Solano tripled and scored when Navarro tried to catch him off base and threw to Murphy at third. The ball skipped down the line and Solano scored for a 7-4 lead.
Navarro's seventh inning single off Miami reliever A.J. Ramos drove home Barney and Rizzo with none out. Navarro came around on Murphy's home run to left on the first pitch off reliever Ryan Webb.
NOTES: The Marlins rank 13th in the NL with a .236 average with runners in scoring position, but have shown improvement in their last three games, going 10-for-31 (.323) with RISP entering Wednesday. ... RHP Jose Fernandez (10-6) takes the mound Friday when Miami opens a three-game home series against the Nationals at Marlins Park. ... The Cubs activated 37-year-old Korean RHP Chang-Yong Lim on Wednesday and designated RHP Michael Bowden for reassignment. Lim continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery and most recently pitched 11 relief outings with Triple-A Iowa with no record and a 0.79 ERA. ... Cubs LHP Chris Rusin (2-3) pitches Friday's series opener against Milwaukee. ... With appearances by RHP Alberto Cabrera and LHP Zach Rosscup on Tuesday, the Cubs have now used 52 players this season, one shy of the record 53 used in 2012.\