- Associated Press - Monday, June 5, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - Eddie Butler sailed into the sixth inning and Mike Montgomery took over from there.

A winning plan for the Chicago Cubs - again.

Butler and Montgomery combined on a six-hitter, Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer and the Cubs beat the Miami Marlins 3-1 on Monday night for their fourth straight victory.

Butler (3-1) allowed one run and three hits in 5 2/3 innings, bouncing back nicely from a shaky start at San Diego last Tuesday. With closer Wade Davis on paternity leave, manager Joe Maddon then gave the ball to Montgomery and the left-hander went the rest of the way for his second save in his first appearance since May 28.

“I knew I was going to be going multiple innings. I didn’t know I was going to finish the game,” Montgomery said. “But I think Joe knows that it worked last time and if I can keep getting outs and guys keep making plays behind me, it might be better off just to do it like we did today.”

Butler and Montgomery also teamed up for a 5-1 win against San Francisco on May 25, with Montgomery pitching the final four innings.

“I like the piggyback, but the lineups are perfect,” Maddon said. “The Giant lineup was good for (Montgomery) also.”

Albert Almora Jr. added a solo shot as Chicago remained perfect on its 10-game homestand after going winless on a six-game West Coast trip. Almora and Willson Contreras finished with two hits apiece.

Miami had won three straight and seven of eight. Marcell Ozuna had two hits, but the Marlins’ lineup struggled for the most part on an unseasonably cool, breezy night at Wrigley Field.

“We didn’t get anything going,” manager Don Mattingly said. “The couple of times that we did, it ended quickly. We didn’t do a whole lot.”

Butler was working on a shutout before Dee Gordon hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth, trimming Chicago’s lead to 3-1. Giancarlo Stanton followed with a double, chasing Butler.

Montgomery then got Christian Yelich to bounce to second to end the inning. The Marlins threatened again in the seventh, getting Ozuna to third with one out, but Montgomery struck out Derek Dietrich and retired Tyler Moore on a grounder.

Butler fanned four and walked one. He threw just 66 pitches against the Marlins, 45 for strikes.

“Today we really attacked the zone,” Butler said.

Miami right-hander Dan Straily (4-4) struggled with location early on, but eventually settled down and pitched seven solid innings. He had won his last three starts.

Ben Zobrist led off the Cubs first with a double off the wall and Bryant followed with a deep drive to the bleachers in left, powering the ball through a stiff wind. Bryant is 5 for 10 against Straily in his career with three homers and eight RBIs.

“Obviously, not the way I want to get going there with the first two guys, but you can’t sit there and feel sorry for yourself,” Straily said. “There’s a lot of ballgame left to go at that point. I just had to keep pitching.”

Almora connected in the fourth, hitting a drive to left-center for his first homer since April 28 and No. 3 on the season.

AILING

First baseman Justin Bour, who leads Miami with 16 homers, got an MRI on his ailing left ankle, and it showed a bone bruise. He got hurt running the bases Saturday, grounded out in a pinch-hit appearance Sunday and didn’t play in the series opener against the Cubs. “We’re talking it over tonight,” Mattingly said. “If this is going to be a DL, and kind of feel like it’s going to be, we haven’t made that final decision.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: RHP Edinson Volquez will test his injured right ankle with a bullpen on Tuesday. “I threw a little bit today. I’m going to wait until tomorrow and see how I feel after that,” he said. Volquez got hurt in the first inning Saturday against Arizona, but stayed in and pitched the sixth no-hitter in Marlins history.

Cubs: LHP Brett Anderson, on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain, threw a simulated game in Arizona.

UP NEXT

Marlins left-hander Jeff Locke (0-0, 1.59 ERA) and Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta (5-4, 4.60) start Tuesday night in the second game of the series. Locke tossed 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball Thursday against Arizona after missing the first part of the season with left shoulder tendinitis. Arrieta is coming off a solid performance at San Diego, pitching six innings in a no-decision on Wednesday.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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Jay Cohen can be reached at https://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

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