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Chicago at Los Angeles

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Chi. Cubs (40-24) «100020000381
L.A. Dodgers (30-33)100000000140

Cubs beat Dodgers to avoid first three-game skid

CBSSports.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- For the second year in a row, the Chicago Cubs' 40th win of the season had Jason Marquis' name on it. The only difference is, they have 16 fewer losses this time.

Marquis took a two-hitter into the seventh inning and the defending NL Central champions extended Brad Penny's winless streak to seven starts with a 3-1 victory Sunday night, salvaging a split of the four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Mark DeRosa was 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI, helping the Cubs finish their road trip 4-3 and avoid their first three-game losing streak. They are the only team in the majors that hasn't lost more than two in a row.

The Cubs, whose 40-24 record is the best in the majors, didn't get their 40th win last season until July 1, when Marquis ended a personal winless drought of nine starts with a 5-1 victory over Milwaukee at Wrigley Field to get the Cubs back to the .500 mark.

"We're playing good baseball right now and clicking on all cylinders," Marquis said. "We're going to keep battling, no matter what opponent it is, and we have a good idea of what we want to do."

Marquis (4-3) allowed an unearned run and three hits over 6 1/3 innings, walked one and struck out two in his second-longest outing this season.

"He did a real nice job. He threw strike one, stayed ahead of the hitters and won himself a ball game with a low pitch count," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "That's the type of performance that you expect from a veteran pitcher - obviously, not every time out, but at the same time with more consistency."

The Dodgers got their run in the first inning on a groundout by Jeff Kent that scored Juan Pierre, who led off with a single, stole second and continued to third when catcher Geovany Soto's throw bounced into center field. Marquis retired 12 in a row between Pierre's hit and James Loney's leadoff single in the fifth.

"He threw strikes, man," Pierre said. "Every time you go up there, he got that first pitch over for a strike and kept the ball down and away from the middle of the plate. We just couldn't get anything going off of him. He's a guy you can run on, but we never got guys on base to create any havoc."

Carlos Marmol relieved Marquis with the potential tying runs on base, striking out Matt Kemp and retiring Blake DeWitt with the help of a sparkling play by three-time Gold Glove first baseman Derrek Lee, who made a diving stop in the hole and tossed to Marmol for the third out while still on the ground.

"The rule is, when you're playing back and it's hit slowly, you just go to the bag," Lee said. "I was playing him straight up, and I wasn't sure DeRosa would be able to get to and make a throw in time. So I had it in my mind to go get it, because I figured I had a shot at it and I could make a little shorter throw to the pitcher. And it worked out."

Marmol got another big out in the eighth, retiring Kent on a grounder to third for the force on Pierre with men on first and second.

"Marmol's just got electric stuff. He can make a good hitter look bad," Piniella said. "But he needs to pound the strike zone a little more. These 3-2 counts are giving the manager a neck ache - but he's fun to watch."

Injury-plagued Kerry Wood, who beat out Marmol and Bob Howry for the closer's job in spring training, pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 18th save in 22 attempts and fourth in the seven meetings with the Dodgers.

The Cubs are 8-20 when scoring three runs or fewer. Their last four wins under those circumstances have come at the Dodgers' expense, including all three games of a series sweep last month at Wrigley Field in which they outscored Los Angeles 8-3.

Penny (5-8) threw 110 pitches over six innings, giving up three runs and six hits. The two-time All-Star hasn't won since beating Colorado on May 2 for his fourth straight victory, and his teammates have totaled five runs in his last four starts.

Chicago snapped a 1-1 tie with a pair of runs in the fifth. DeRosa followed Alfonso Soriano's leadoff double with an RBI single, advanced on a wild pitch and scored when Aramis Ramirez doubled inside third base for his team-high 42nd RBI.

DeRosa, the second batter Penny faced in the game, hit his eighth home run on a 3-1 pitch. It continued a couple of disturbing trends for the right-hander, who has failed to get through the first three innings without giving up a run in nine of his 14 starts this season. He has retired the side in order in the opening frame just four times.

Notes

  • When Joe Torre was managing Soriano in 2002 with the Yankees, he pulled out all the stops to give Soriano every opportunity to get the home run he needed to finish that season with the rare feat of 40 homers and 40 stolen bases. Before the Yankees began a three-game series in Baltimore that ended the regular season, Torre asked Orioles manager Mike Hargrove if it was OK with him Torre allowed Soriano to swing at a 3-0 pitch if the situation arose. Hargrove gave Torre his blessing, but Soriano came up empty in 15 at-bats that series -- leaving him with a homerless drought of 47 at-bats over his final 11 games. He eventually joined the exclusive 40-40 club in 2006 with the Washington Nationals (46-41).
 
Copyright 2014 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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The Dodgers have problems trying to figure out how to hit Jason Marquis, who allows one unearned run.  (AP)
The Dodgers have problems trying to figure out how to hit Jason Marquis, who allows one unearned run. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

M. DeRosa
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
Los Angeles

J. Pierre
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF5110013 .279
    Reed Johnson, LF0000000 .265
Mark DeRosa, 2B5232011 .303
Derrek Lee, 1B3010102 .284
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4011011 .297
Kosuke Fukudome, RF3000113 .292
Geovany Soto, C4000002 .278
Jim Edmonds, CF2000201 .209
Ronny Cedeno, SS4010031 .295
Jason Marquis, P2000011 .160
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
   a- Mike Fontenot, PH1010000 .250
    Kerry Wood, P0000000 .000
Totals3338348  
a-singled for Marmol in the 9th
Batting
2B - Alfonso Soriano (11, Penny), Aramis Ramirez (19, Penny)
HR - Mark DeRosa (8, Penny)
SH - Jason Marquis (2)
RBI - Mark DeRosa 2 (34), Aramis Ramirez (42)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Geovany Soto (2, Throwing)
Chicago Cubs
Jason Marquis (W,4-3) 6.1310120 4.54
Carlos Marmol (H,19) 1.2100130 2.25
Kerry Wood (S,18) 1000020 2.62
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 89-54, Carlos Marmol 36-20, Kerry Wood 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Marquis 9-8, Carlos Marmol 2-0
Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 23, Carlos Marmol 7, Kerry Wood 3
Los Angeles Dodgers
Juan Pierre, LF4120000 .281
Andre Ethier, RF3000101 .294
Jeff Kent, 2B4001002 .251
Russell Martin, C4010010 .314
James Loney, 1B3010100 .281
Matt Kemp, CF4000033 .301
Blake DeWitt, 3B3000003 .293
Angel Berroa, SS3000021 .000
Brad Penny, P1000000 .167
   a- Delwyn Young, PH1000000 .279
    Chan Ho Park, P0000000 .000
   b- Mark Sweeney, PH1000010 .128
    Takashi Saito, P0000000 .000
Totals3114127  
a-grounded out for Penny in the 6th
b-struck out for Park in the 8th
Batting
2B - Juan Pierre (8, Marmol)
RBI - Jeff Kent (29)
SB - Juan Pierre (23, 3rd base off Marquis/Soto)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Berroa-Kent-Loney
Los Angeles Dodgers
Brad Penny (L,5-8) 6633351 5.38
Chan Ho Park 2100100 2.09
Takashi Saito 1100030 2.03
WP - Brad Penny (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Penny 110-64, Chan Ho Park 35-21, Takashi Saito 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Penny 9-4, Chan Ho Park 3-2
Batters Faced - Brad Penny 27, Chan Ho Park 7, Takashi Saito 4
Game Information
Attendance - 49994
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Angel Hernandez, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Derryl Cousins