Dickerson homers as Marlins beat Cubs 5-1 in playoff opener

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Miami Marlins' Miguel Rojas (19) celebrates with Corey Dickerson, right, after Dickerson hit a three-run home run that scored Rojas and Chad Wallach in the seventh inning of Game 1 of a National League wild-card baseball series against the Chicago Cubs in Chicago, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

CHICAGO – The Miami Marlins just kept fighting. When Kyle Hendricks finally stumbled, they pounced.

This group of Marlins is one resilient bunch of fish.

Corey Dickerson hit a three-run homer off a fading Hendricks in the seventh inning, and Miami beat the Chicago Cubs 5-1 on Wednesday in Game 1 of their NL wild-card series.

Jesús Aguilar also homered and Sandy Alcantara pitched three-hit ball into the seventh as Miami conjured up memories of past playoff magic in the franchise's first postseason game since it won the World Series in 2003. The Marlins, who rallied past the Cubs in a memorable NLCS that year, have never lost a playoff series.

This year's Marlins weren't supposed to make the playoffs, not after losing 105 games in 2019 and dealing with a coronavirus outbreak early this season. Dickerson said all the adversity helped turn them into a better team.

“We don't care about who's the hero,” he said. “We want to pass the bat to the next guy. ... We don't care. We want to cheer for one another, play for one another. That's what makes this game fun.”

Game 2 of the best-of-three series is Thursday. Yu Darvish starts for the Central champion Cubs, and rookie right-hander Sixto Sánchez get the ball for upstart Miami.

“We’ve got to come in tomorrow and find a way. That’s it,” Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said.