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Cubs rookie pitches seven scoreless; Dontrelle finally loses in April

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Dontrelle Willis' perfect April record was ruined by a rookie.

Willis lost for the first time in April, with Sean Marshall pitching seven scoreless innings on a cold night to lead the Chicago Cubs over the Florida Marlins 3-1 Tuesday.

Willis (1-1) allowed three runs, five hits and three walks in seven innings, striking out six. He had been 9-0 with a 2.20 ERA in 14 April starts.

Willis wasn't left pondering about his first career loss.

"I wasn't aware of that. I'm not too big of a stat guy," he said.

Willis also began the night 2-0 with a 1.01 ERA in four starts at Wrigley Field. He was selected by the Cubs in the eighth round of the 2000 amateur draft, then was traded to the Marlins in May 2002 as part of a deal that brought pitchers Antonio Alfonseca and Matt Clement to Chicago.

"Dontrelle is a winner. You watch Dontrelle pitch and you understand why he's successful," Marlins manager Joe Girardi said. "He does all the things that you have to do. He does everything right and everything he takes to be a winner."

Marshall (2-0) allowed two hits, struck out seven and walked two in his fourth career start.

"You can tell the way Dontrelle was dealing he wasn't going to give up many runs, and Sean Marshall matched him and threw a great ballgame," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.

Ryan Dempster pitched a perfect ninth to complete the five-hitter. It was his sixth save this year and his 25th straight save conversion dating to July 24.

The gametime temperature was 39 degrees, and the wind was blowing in at 18 mph, but an announced crowd of 38,680 came to Wrigley Field.

"They hit some balls on the nose. The elements were with us tonight," Baker said. "This is sort of strange. You think spring is here, then winter shows back up again, I guess that is Chicago; you've just got to deal with it," Baker said.

Marshall didn't allow a hit until Chris Aguila singled with one out in the fifth, then got Reggie Abercrombie to hit into an inning-ending double-play. The 6-foot-7 left-hander, using a big curveball to fool the Marlins hitters, struck out the side in the sixth.

"My breaking ball was probably my top pitch tonight. It's been awhile since I have been able to control it and command it like that," he said.

Matt Murton's RBI single put the Cubs ahead in the fourth following a leadoff walk by Aramis Ramirez. Murton added a run-scoring double in the seventh and scored on a squeeze bunt by Jerry Hairston Jr., sliding home ahead of Willis' throw.

Dan Uggla hit an RBI single off Bobby Howry in the eighth.

Notes

  • Willis struck out former teammate Juan Pierre leading off the first inning. It was the first time he faced Pierre in his career. Pierre was 0-for-3 against Willis.
  • Cubs RHP Angel Guzman is to start against the Marlins on Wednesday in his major league debut.
  • Chicago C Michael Barrett jammed his left middle finger sliding into second on a double in the seventh inning.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Chicago's Jerry Hairston Jr. goes airborne as Miguel Cabrera looks to steal second base.  (AP)
Chicago's Jerry Hairston Jr. goes airborne as Miguel Cabrera looks to steal second base. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

M. Murton
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
Chicago

S. Marshall
IP 7.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 2
K 7
 

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Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS3010110 .312
Dan Uggla, 2B4021001 .273
Miguel Cabrera, 3B3000113 .318
Josh Willingham, LF4000001 .288
Wes Helms, 1B4000020 .316
Miguel Olivo, C4000020 .261
Chris Aguila, RF3010010 .205
Reggie Abercrombie, CF3110001 .184
Dontrelle Willis, P2000010 .100
   a- Mike Jacobs, PH1000001 .193
    Randy Messenger, P0000000 .000
Totals31151287 
a-flied out for Willis in the 8th
Batting
RBI - Dan Uggla (9)
2-OUT RBI - Dan Uggla (5)
SB - Hanley Ramirez (4, 2nd base off Marshall/Barrett), Dan Uggla (2, 2nd base off Marshall/Barrett), Miguel Cabrera (3, 2nd base off Marshall/Barrett)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - H. Ramirez-Helms
Florida Marlins
Dontrelle Willis (L,1-1) 7533360 3.13
Randy Messenger 1000000 0.00
IBB - Hairston by Dontrelle Willis
Pitches-Strikes - Dontrelle Willis 91-56, Randy Messenger 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dontrelle Willis 11-2, Randy Messenger 3-0
Batters Faced - Dontrelle Willis 27, Randy Messenger 3
Chicago Cubs
Juan Pierre, CF4000021 .266
Ronny Cedeno, SS4000020 .323
Todd Walker, 1B3000100 .364
Aramis Ramirez, 3B2100101 .180
Michael Barrett, C2110000 .283
Matt Murton, LF3132000 .292
Jacque Jones, RF2000001 .200
Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B2011100 .333
Sean Marshall, P2000012 .125
   a- Michael Restovich, PH1000011 .000
    Bob Howry, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Dempster, P0000000 .000
Totals25353366 
a-struck out for Marshall in the 7th
Batting
2B - Michael Barrett (4, Willis), Matt Murton (3, Willis)
SH - Michael Barrett (1), Jacque Jones (1)
RBI - Matt Murton 2 (13), Jerry Hairston Jr. (1)
PK - Jerry Hairston Jr. (1, Willis)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Hairston-Cedeno-Walker
Chicago Cubs
Sean Marshall (W,2-0) 7200270 4.22
Bob Howry (H,3) 1311010 1.86
Ryan Dempster (S,6) 1000000 1.50
Pitches-Strikes - Sean Marshall 96-58, Bob Howry 23-15, Ryan Dempster 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sean Marshall 6-7, Bob Howry 1-1, Ryan Dempster 1-2
Batters Faced - Sean Marshall 24, Bob Howry 6, Ryan Dempster 3
Game Information
Attendance - 38680
Game Time - 2:12
Temperature - 39
Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Bruce Froemming, Third Base - Mike Winters