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Chi. Cubs (83-75)021100000491
Florida (68-90) «13001020x7110

Cubbies fall to Marlins for ninth straight time as offense shuts down

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

MIAMI -- Alfonso Soriano dressed slowly. Aramis Ramirez hunched over his postgame meal. Mark DeRosa sprawled on a couch. All focused on the TV in the corner of the clubhouse, hoping for help.

The Chicago Cubs need it. Their grip on the NL Central became shaky Wednesday night, when they were shut out over the final 5 2/3 innings and lost for the second night in a row to the last-place Florida Marlins, 7-4.

There was good news an hour later from Milwaukee, where St. Louis beat the second-place Brewers 7-3. That left the Cubs' lead at two games and reduced to three their magic number for clinching the division, with four games left in the regular season.

But the Cubs acknowledged they're not making it easy.

"Maybe we're pressing a little bit," said DeRosa, who committed a throwing error in the Marlins' three-run second inning. "I'd like to think we're not playing tight, but maybe there are some circumstances where we are. We have to realize we're still in first place."

A two-out RBI single in the fifth inning by backup catcher Matt Treanor put the Marlins ahead to stay. Miguel Cabrera added a two-run homer, his 34th.

In the wake of Chicago's loss Tuesday, players patiently endured a fresh round of questions about the franchise's history of collapses. They then failed to build on an early lead against Marlins rookie Daniel Barone, who remained winless in six starts but left with the score 4-all.

"It was a bad ballgame from us," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "We've got to play better than that if we want to go forward."

Piniella delivered a brief clubhouse pep talk after the game. The message?

"Relax and have fun," center fielder Jacque Jones said. "We control our own destiny. Just go out and play."

The series is reminiscent of 2003, when Florida rallied from a three-games-to-one deficit and beat the Cubs in the NL Championship Series. One difference: The 2007 Marlins began the night tied with Pittsburgh for the league's worst record.

"The Cubs are looking to roll over us, and we're not letting them do it," said Lee Gardner, who pitched the ninth. "They came in looking for a couple of easy wins, and we're not giving in."

Florida beat Chicago for the ninth game in a row over the past two seasons. That tied for the longest active streak between two major league clubs.

"We haven't had success against this team," Piniella said. "They've got our number. They feel nice and comfortable against the Cubbies."

The announced crowd was 19,051, with at least two-thirds cheering for the Cubs. They were mostly quietly in the late innings because seven Florida relievers combined for 5 1/3 scoreless innings.

Matt Lindstrom (4-4) pitched a perfect seventh. With closer Kevin Gregg nursing a sore forearm, Gardner finished for his second save in two chances.

Jason Marquis (12-9) lost for the first time since Aug. 26. He allowed five runs, four earned, in five innings.

Jones drove in three runs with a single and a sacrifice fly for the Cubs, who came from behind twice before their offense stalled. DeRosa hit a double and triple and scored twice, and Derrek Lee hit his 21st homer.

The Marlins' Jeremy Hermida improved to 5-for-8 in the series. He hit a two-run single in the first, and after he doubled leading off the seventh, Cabrera homered off Carlos Marmol for a 7-4 lead.

For the second night in a row, breaks went against Chicago. Hermida's run-scoring single landed barely fair, and just before Lee's homer, Soriano was doubled off first on a close call they disputed. DeRosa and pinch hitter Matt Murton flied out to the warning track with runners on.

"Sometimes the breaks just don't go your way," Marquis said.

He retired the first two batters in the fifth before Florida broke a 4-all tie. Todd Linden doubled, and after Piniella paid a visit to the mound, Marquis gave up an RBI single to Treanor.

"I asked him how he was feeling," Piniella said. "He said he felt really good. I figured I'd give him a chance. It just didn't happen." Perhaps the best news for the Cubs is that they have only one game left against nemesis Florida. Steve Trachsel is scheduled to pitch for Chicago against Scott Olsen.

"We'll beat these guys tomorrow," Piniella said, "and go from there."

Notes

  • Barone has an ERA of 8.53 in six starts, and his ERA in 10 games as a reliever is 1.15.
  • Soriano threw out Hermida and Treanor trying to stretch run-scoring hits to left into doubles.
 
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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With another loss to the Marlins, Alfonso Soriano and the Cubs are not breathing too easy.  (AP)
With another loss to the Marlins, Alfonso Soriano and the Cubs are not breathing too easy. (AP)

Players of the Game
Florida

M. Cabrera
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Chicago

J. Jones
AB 2
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 3
 

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Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF5010022 .293
Ryan Theriot, SS5000011 .270
Derrek Lee, 1B3111000 .318
Cliff Floyd, RF2020200 .287
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4100015 .307
Mark DeRosa, 2B4220013 .295
Jacque Jones, CF2013010 .275
   a- Matt Murton, PH1000001 .281
    Felix Pie, CF0000000 .211
Jason Kendall, C4000001 .244
Jason Marquis, P2010001 .139
   b- Sam Fuld, PH1000010 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
    Scott Eyre, P0000000 .000
    Bob Howry, P0000000 .000
   c- Daryle Ward, PH1010000 .330
Totals3449427  
a-flied out for Jones in the 8th
b-struck out for Marquis in the 6th
c-doubled for Howry in the 9th
Batting
2B - Cliff Floyd (10, Tankersley), Mark DeRosa (28, Barone), Daryle Ward (13, Gardner)
3B - Mark DeRosa (3, Barone)
HR - Derrek Lee (21, Barone)
SF - Jacque Jones (3)
RBI - Derrek Lee (80), Jacque Jones 3 (62)
2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee (30)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Alfonso Soriano 2
E - Mark DeRosa (11, Throwing)
Chicago Cubs
Jason Marquis (L,12-9) 5954240 4.43
Carlos Marmol 1.2222011 1.45
Scott Eyre 0.1000000 4.21
Bob Howry 1000120 3.40
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 77-49, Carlos Marmol 32-19, Scott Eyre 1-1, Bob Howry 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Marquis 6-4, Carlos Marmol 2-2, Scott Eyre 1-0, Bob Howry 1-0
Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 25, Carlos Marmol 7, Scott Eyre 1, Bob Howry 4
Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS5210012 .332
Dan Uggla, 2B2000201 .247
Jeremy Hermida, RF4122002 .293
Miguel Cabrera, 3B4123021 .321
Mike Jacobs, 1B4000002 .271
    Taylor Tankersley, P0000000 .000
    Justin Miller, P0000000 .000
    Renyel Pinto, P0000000 .000
    Lee Gardner, P0000000 .000
Todd Linden, LF4120012 .247
Matt Treanor, C4121011 .276
Alejandro De Aza, CF3110101 .212
Daniel Barone, P1000012 .111
    Ross Wolf, P0000000 .000
   a- Robert Andino, PH1010000 .455
    Logan Kensing, P0000000 .000
   b- Brett Carroll, PH1000010 .209
    Matt Lindstrom, P0000000 .000
    Jason Wood, 1B1000000 .248
Totals34711637  
a-singled for Wolf in the 4th
b-struck out for Kensing in the 6th
Batting
2B - Jeremy Hermida (31, Marmol), Todd Linden 2 (8, Marquis, Marquis)
HR - Miguel Cabrera (34, Marmol)
RBI - Jeremy Hermida 2 (61), Miguel Cabrera 3 (115), Matt Treanor (18)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Treanor (4)
SB - Hanley Ramirez (51, 2nd base off Marquis/Kendall)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Uggla-Jacobs
Florida Marlins
Daniel Barone 3.2644211 5.71
Ross Wolf 0.1000010 10.03
Logan Kensing (W,2-0) 2100030 1.50
Matt Lindstrom (H,18) 1000010 3.22
Taylor Tankersley0100000 4.08
Justin Miller (H,16) 0.2000010 3.77
Renyel Pinto (H,15) 0.1000000 3.81
Lee Gardner (S,2) 1100000 1.99
HBP - Lee (by Logan Kensing)
Pitches-Strikes - Daniel Barone 70-46, Ross Wolf 6-3, Logan Kensing 27-18, Matt Lindstrom 14-10, Taylor Tankersley 1-1, Justin Miller 14-8, Renyel Pinto 2-1, Lee Gardner 17-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daniel Barone 3-6, Logan Kensing 1-2, Matt Lindstrom 1-1, Lee Gardner 1-2
Batters Faced - Daniel Barone 18, Ross Wolf 1, Logan Kensing 8, Matt Lindstrom 3, Taylor Tankersley 1, Justin Miller 2, Renyel Pinto 1, Lee Gardner 4
Game Information
Attendance - 19051
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Eric Cooper, Third Base - Andy Fletcher