The Cubs looked like they were on the way to their sixth straight loss before Contreras drove an 0-1 pitch from Dylan Floro (0-1) to left with one out in the eighth for his 16th homer, waking up a sleepy crowd.
Contreras pointed toward the roaring fans and pounded his chest after he crossed the plate.
He and Ian Happ got warm receptions in their first home game since Tuesday’s trade deadline passed with neither All-Star getting dealt. But there wasn’t much else to cheer until Contreras went deep.
Chicago’s only hits to that point were singles by Nick Madrigal leading off the sixth and eighth. Happ also doubled in the eighth.
Steele went 4 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and walking one while throwing 93 pitches. Rowan Wick (3-5) got the final four outs for the Cubs, who were coming off a doubleheader sweep at St. Louis.
Miami’s Edward Cabrera threw five hitless innings in his first start since June 12. The 24-year-old Dominican had been sidelined because of right elbow tendinitis.
Joey Wendle singled in a run in the seventh for the Marlins, who lost for the sixth time in seven games.
The Marlins called up outfielder Peyton Burdick from Triple-A Jacksonville and optioned right-hander Nick Neidert and outfielder Jesus Sanchez to the minor league club. Burdick started in left field and batted seventh in his major league debut.
The Cubs returned left-hander Matt Dermody to Triple-A Iowa after he was the 27th man for Thursday’s doubleheader.
Marlins: 3B Brian Anderson (left shoulder sprain), INF Jon Berti (strained left groin) and RHP Cole Sulser (strained right lat) were headed to Jacksonville for rehab assignments. … RHP Tommy Nance (strained right groin) threw a 20-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday. … RHP Sixto Sánchez (shoulder) is scheduled to throw two innings of live batting practice Saturday at the club’s spring training complex in Jupiter, Florida.
Cubs: Manager David Ross said RHP Kyle Hendricks (strained right shoulder) and OF Jason Heyward (right knee inflammation) are not close to returning. He said he hopes the two veterans play again this season. “I know these guys work really hard and they pride themselves on … being out there with the guys,” Ross said. Hendricks hasn’t pitched since leaving a start at Milwaukee on July 5. Heyward has been sidelined since June 24.
The weekend series continues with RHP Pablo López (7-6, 3.41 ERA) starting for Miami against Cubs LHP Drew Smyly (3-6, 4.42). López got tagged for six runs and a career-high 12 hits in 2 2/3 innings in a loss to the New York Mets on Sunday.