Benches clear before Marlins beat Cubs 7-3
MIAMI (AP) A bench-clearing confrontation led by injured Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez and Chicago Cubs outfielder Junior Lake ended in a standoff.
The game went to Miami.
Giancarlo Stanton and Jeff Baker hit back-to-back homers for the second time in five days, and the Marlins showed lots of life after two months of often desultory play, beating Chicago 7-3 Wednesday night.
The Marlins won their second series in a row after a stretch in which they lost 11 of 13 games and fired manager Mike Redmond.
''I've sensed this team coming together,'' new manager Dan Jennings said. ''This is a good ballclub. There was a transition that was tough on everyone. But this team has a lot of heart.''
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Lake was in the wrong, and the outfielder apologized for his behavior.
Lake homered in the sixth and gestured at the Miami dugout after rounding third base, which prompted the confrontation led by Fernandez, who is still on the disabled list recovering from Tommy John surgery a year ago.
Lake put his index finger to his lips as if gesturing for silence while he looked at the Marlins. Several Miami players along the railing screamed at Lake in response and then ran onto the field, with Fernandez vaulting over the railing to lead the way.
Surrounded by teammates, Lake and Fernandez screamed at each other near home plate before they were pulled away toward their respective dugouts. No one was ejected.
''I probably shouldn't have gone out there on the field, but emotions took over,'' Fernandez said. ''We're not trying to fight. We're not boxing or UFC. I got caught in the moment.''
After Lake homered, he flipped his bat and was slow starting into his trot. As he started toward first base, pitcher Dan Haren glared at him from the mound.
''I knew after I crossed first that I didn't do it right,'' Lake said through a translator. ''But after that, I heard them chirping from the other dugout, and that's when I lost control a little bit. I wanted to actually apologize, but they kept screaming at me and I'm a man, too.''
Haren said Lake's behavior was disrespectful.
''I didn't like it. The team didn't like it,'' Haren said. ''It's his first homer of the year, so congratulations to him. I've given up about 500 homers in my career, so big deal.''
Maddon said he spoke with Lake during and after the game and told him he was in the wrong. He said Lake was contrite.
''I'd like to use this moment for our minor league guys,'' Maddon said. ''Don't do that. That's very much not cool. So if you're watching the game back in Chicago tonight, don't do that if you hit a home run. ... We don't do that here, and that will be the last time you see it.''
Miami's feistiness didn't end with the confrontation. Jennings was ejected in the eighth inning for arguing a call on a checked swing.
Jennings is managing for the first time since he led a high school team in the 1980s. When was the last time he was ejected?
''My wife - every day she throws me out,'' he said.
Haren (6-2) took a shutout into the sixth but got only one out after the confrontation. He allowed three runs in 5 2-3 innings.
Stanton, the major league leader in RBIs, hit his 17th home run off Jon Lester, and Baker followed with his second for a 6-0 lead in the fifth.
Lester (4-4) had his worst outing of the year, allowing six runs in five innings. He also went 0 for 2 at the plate and is 0 for 61 in his career.
In the second inning the Marlins scored four runs, including two thanks to a replay reversal.
With runners at the corners and two outs, Dee Gordon was called out trying to beat out a slow grounder to shortstop Starlin Castro. But the ruling was reversed following a brief review, allowing a run to score, and Martin Prado followed with an RBI single to make it 4-0.
Marlins: RHP Jarred Cosart (vertigo) is scheduled to make his first rehab start Saturday for Triple-A New Orleans. RHP Mat Latos (left knee) is scheduled to make his first rehab start Thursday at extended spring training in Jupiter.
Cubs: RHP Jake Arrieta (4-4, 3.18 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Cubs when they begin a four-game series Thursday at Washington. Arrieta is 0-1 with a 5.81 ERA in six starts against the Nationals.
Marlins: RHP Tom Koehler (3-3, 4.01) starts for the Marlins when they play Friday at Colorado to begin a six-game trip.
This story has been corrected to show that Jennings was ejected in the eighth inning.