CHICAGO — Drew Smyly threw the shutout ball in the seventh inning for his first win at Wrigley Field for the Cubs, leading Chicago 4-0 past the Miami Marlins on Saturday.
PJ Higgins homered and singled, and Nico Hoerner added three hits and an RBI to help the Cubs beat Miami for a second straight day after losing five straight games.
Ian Happ had two hits and one run and Willson Contreras had an RBI single. Both All-Stars and Happ and Contreras were the subject of trade rumors ahead of Tuesday’s deadline but stayed with Chicago.
The Marlins have lost six of seven and been ruled out for the 12th time this season.
Smyly (4-6) finally prevailed at home in his sixth start of the season at Wrigley after signing a one-year, $5.25 million deal in March that includes performance bonuses and an option for 2023. The 33-year-old right-hander allowed five hits, batted four and walked none before being replaced by Mark Leiter Jr. with two outs in the seventh.
Leiter retired the next seven Miami hitters.
Smyly was 11-4 for World Series Champion Atlanta last season but missed six weeks this year with an oblique strain. He returned on July 10 but has struggled since, with a 6.06 ERA in four starts en route to Saturday.
Miami’s Pablo López (7-7) allowed four runs with nine hits in more than five innings.
Smyly got some help when the Cubs stopped Miami from taking a 1-0 lead in the third game with a successful tackle.
Miguel Rojas was called safe by plate referee Larry Vanover when he attempted to score right from second place on Bryan De La Cruz’s singles. The call was quashed after video showed catcher PJ Higgins marking De La Cruz’s foot inches from the spot after taking Seiya Suzuki’s powerful throw.
Chicago went 1-0 in the fourth when Happ doubled and Hoerner brought him home. The Cubs added two more in the fifth.
Higgins led from the sixth with a solo shot just inside the foul pole in left field to go after López.
Happ made a jumping catch off the left sidewall on Joey Wendle’s fly to pull Miami back in eighth.
FOR THE SECOND TIME
Smyly first signed with the Cubs as a free agent in December 2017 but never performed for them while recovering from Tommy John’s surgery. He was traded to Texas in November 2018.
Chicago on Saturday recovered 11-year shortstop veteran Andrelton Simmons from the injured list and then designated the four-time Gold Glove winner for pregame assignment
Simmons signed a $4 million deal with the Cubs in March and appeared set for a regular role. But the 32-year-old appeared in just 34 games because of two right shoulder injuries and hit .173 with seven RBI.
Simmons had not appeared in a game with Chicago since July 10 against the Dodgers but had just completed a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa.
Marlin’s LF Peyton Burdick singled in the third for his first hit in the majors. He made his major league debut on Friday and fanned three times.
Marlins: RHP Elieser Hernandez activated from COVID-19 injured list. RHP Aneurys Zabala was chosen for the job.
Cubs: Rookie Christopher Morel left the game with a right hamstring strain after breaking a 0-for-25 slump with a single in the fifth and a goal. He is day by day.
Miami LHP Jesus Luzardo (2-4, 3.97 ERA) meets Chicago RHP Adrian Sampson (0-2, 3.74) on Sunday. Luzardo allowed two runs last Monday and scored in five innings against Cincinnati in his first big league game since May 10. The 24-year-old left-hander was sidelined due to a left forearm strain.