Stanton homers twice, Nolasco takes stand vs. Cubs

Slugger plates four, scores go-ahead run; righty retires final 15 he faces

Stanton homers twice, Nolasco takes stand vs. Cubs

MIAMI -- The way things have been going for the Marlins, Donovan Solano thought Starlin Castro would make a leaping catch of his scorched two-out liner with a pair of runners on base in the sixth inning of Sunday afternoon's series finale against the Cubs.

After all, Castro's stellar defensive play in the seventh the night before prevented Miami's tying run from scoring in a one-run loss. Instead, the ball sailed over Castro's glove, driving in the go-ahead run.

Giancarlo Stanton blasted a pair of homers and collected four RBIs as the Marlins avoided the four-game series sweep in a 6-4 comeback victory over the Cubs in front of 19,817 at Marlins Park.

"I felt good when he missed it," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Finally maybe the tides are turning. It seems like every bang-bang play, every call goes against us. ... Every once in a while it's nice for those to fall in."

Trailing, 3-2, in the sixth inning after collecting just one hit, the Marlins worked a two-out rally to take a 4-3 lead.

Juan Pierre sent a liner to left for a one-out hit off Cubs right-hander Carlos Villanueva (1-1), who had retired 14 of the previous 15 batters. Pierre then stole second -- his sixth steal of the season.

After Chris Coghlan struck out looking, the Cubs elected to pitch to Stanton -- who hit a two-run homer in the first inning -- with first base open. Though Stanton fell behind 0-2, he worked the count even before driving an RBI single to left. He advanced to second on Alfonso Soriano's throw home.

"Not in that situation," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of walking the slugger. "I just felt [Villanueva] had the pitches to pitch around him and keep the ball away from him. ... I didn't have my left-hander [James Russell]. He was down today, so I didn't have anybody for [left-handed-hitting Greg] Dobbs, and I didn't want to put the winning run on either."

Villanueva intentionally walked Dobbs. Solano smoked a ball that went over Castro's glove at short, driving in the go-ahead run. Castro leaped for the ball, but it went over his glove. It was initially ruled an error.

Chicago had taken a 3-2 advantage in the third on Castro's two-run double down the third-base line past a diving Chris Valaika.

Right-hander Ricky Nolasco (2-2), who threw 24 pitches in the third, gave up three straight hits -- singles to Villanueva and David DeJesus -- before Castro's 2-2 swing.

After walking Anthony Rizzo, however, Nolasco escaped further damage in the inning with three outs in a row. Nolasco would go on to retire 15 consecutive batters to conclude his outing after seven frames.

"Just had to dig deep there in that inning," said Nolasco, who is now 5-2 with a 2.48 ERA against the team that drafted him in 2001. "They already did some damage on me early. Just trying to make pitches, keep them there and I was able to do that the rest of the game."

In the first inning, Rizzo's one-out double to the warning track in center scored DeJesus, who walked to lead off the game. The Cubs scored in the opening frame of each game in the four-game series.

But for the second straight day, Stanton blasted a first-inning home run -- this time a two-run shot to left -- that came on a 2-2 pitch. Coghlan had walked with one out.

Stanton delivered his third dinger of the season with a solo blast in the eighth inning for his first multi-homer game since Aug. 20, 2012, and the seventh of his career. The 23-year-old slugger went without a dinger in his first 75 plate appearances this season before his 472-foot homer on Saturday.

Nick Green added an insurance run in the seventh with a homer off right-hander Kameron Loe -- the infielder's first round-tripper since Aug. 10, 2009.

Closer Steve Cishek recorded his third save, but not before surrendering Dioner Navarro's third homer of the season -- a leadoff solo shot -- to right.

"It's huge for this team," Green said of Stanton's recent stretch. "Everybody expects him to hit a home run or get a guy in every time. Having him get his confidence back is the biggest thing to try and lift our team up."

Christina De Nicola is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.