EditorsNote: resending with minor changes
Ian Happ homered on the first pitch of the 2018 season and Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber also went deep to lift the Cubs to an 8-4 victory over the host Miami Marlins on Thursday afternoon at Marlins Park.
Happ hit seven homers in spring training, including five leading off games, and he was at it again on Thursday. Meanwhile, Rizzo went deep in the second inning in his homecoming to his native South Florida and Schwarber’s homer atoned for an error he made during Miami’s three-run third inning.
Former Marlins pitcher Steve Cishek earned the win by pitching 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. He replaced starter Jon Lester, who lasted just 3 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits, three walks and four runs (three earned).
Marlins starter Jose Urena, who went 14-7 last season, took the loss. Making his first Opening Day start, Urena needed 36 pitches to get out of a three-run first inning. In all, Urena lasted four innings, allowing five runs, six hits and four walks.
After allowing the homer to Happ, Urena’s first inning got worse when he allowed one run to score on a hit by pitch and another on a walk.
Twelve Marlins made their first Opening Day roster, and one of them, rookie third baseman Brian Anderson, had perhaps the best day of any Miami player. He went 2-for-3 with a team-best two RBIs.
After falling behind 3-0 and 4-1, the Marlins rallied to tie the score 4-4 in the third. Justin Bour hit an RBI groundout, Anderson hit a run-scoring single, and Garrett Cooper tied it with a single.
But the Cubs went ahead for good in the fourth. Kris Bryant doubled to left, and Willson Contreras hit a two-out, RBI double to put Chicago up 5-4.
The Cubs added three runs in the seventh. After Schwarber hit a solo homer, pinch hitter Tommy La Stella slugged a two-run double to the gap in right-center, giving Chicago an 8-4 advantage.
Five Chicago relievers combined to pitch 5 2/3 scoreless innings.
—Field Level Media