With the wind blowing in on Sunday afternoon and Henderson Alvarez pitching for the Miami Marlins, runs were going to be hard to come by for the Chicago Cubs.
Alvarez entered Sunday’s game against the Cubs having pitched a complete game in each of his past three outings. Alvarez was operating under the same pace in his start on Sunday until the 6th inning.
Alvarez recorded an out in the sixth inning before giving up a double to Cubs’ shortstop Starlin Castro. Castro then advanced to third base when Cubs’ third baseman Luis Valbuena reached on an error by Marlins’ first baseman Garrett Jones. Alvarez was injured on the play while attempting to hail in the errant throw from Jones. Alvarez was forced to leave the game with a hip injury.
The Cubs 2-0 lead would have given starting pitcher Jake Arrieta his second win of the season. Arrieta pitched 6 shutout innings on Sunday while giving up 3 hits and striking out 8.
Arrieta’s potential victory was moved to a no decision when the Marlins tied the game in the seventh inning by scoring two runs off Cubs’ reliever Brian Schlitter.
The Cubs had a bases loaded opportunity with one out in the bottom half of the seventh inning. Though had it not been for a Valbuena RBI walk after a Castro strikeout, the Cubs would have thwarted the opportunity.
Instead, the team entered the eighth inning with a 3-2 lead. The lead was short-lived, however, as the Marlins scored two runs off Cubs’ reliever Pedro Strop to grab the lead at 4-3.
That would prove to be the final score of the game as the Cubs’ 5 game winning streak snapped.
During the Cubs’ winning streak, the Cubs’ benefited from effective pitching from the bullpen and timely hitting. Those were the two areas that failed the Cubs on Sunday.
The Cubs now start a 10-game road trip.