|Chi. Cubs (61-44) «||0||0||2||3||0||0||4||0||x||9||12||0|
CHICAGO -- The offense was stalling and the losses were mounting. Derrek Lee could sense the frustration, but he noticed something else on Sunday.
High-fives. Smiles. And a sense of relief.
Lee homered and Mike Fontenot had a pinch-hit, three-run double during a four-run seventh inning that helped put the Cubs back in sole possession of the NL Central lead.
Chicago split its four-game series with Florida and moved one game ahead of the Brewers, who lost 11-6 to Houston. The Cubs open a four-game series at Milwaukee on Monday night.
"Our bats came alive today," manager Lou Piniella said. "Let's hope these bats travel well to Milwaukee."
The Cubs appeared headed toward their eighth loss in 11 games early on. Mike Jacobs hit a three-run homer in the second and a two-run shot in the third that made it 5-0 before Chicago's struggling offense showed some life.
After scoring just two runs or less in four of the previous six games, the Cubs got a three-run homer from Alfonso Soriano to tie it at 5 in the fourth. And they answered after Dan Uggla made it 6-5 with a leadoff shot in the fifth.
Lee started the seventh with a drive to center off Mark Hendrickson (7-8), his 17th of the season. The Cubs loaded the bases with two outs, and Fontenot hit a 1-0 pitch from Joe Nelson over the head of left fielder Josh Willingham.
"We had the right guy in that situation," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Just a flyball that Fontenot hit that just kept going, but that's just the way it goes. Joe's been pretty good against left-handers."
Florida fell two games back of NL East-leading New York heading into their three-game series in Miami.
"It was a big game and it would have been nice to get out of here winning three out of four," Jacobs said. "We have a big series coming up so we have to put this behind us. We have the Mets coming in and that's who we're chasing. Hopefully we can have a good series at home."
Jacobs drove a 3-2 fastball into the basket in center field for a 3-0 lead after Jason Marquis walked Willingham and hit Uggla in the second.
Jacobs struck again after Uggla singled with two out in the third. This time, he drove the first pitch from Marquis into the right-field basket for his 22nd homer - a shot was initially ruled a double.
Marquis allowed six runs and nine hits in six innings, and Rick VandenHurk left with two outs in the fourth. He gave up five runs and eight hits.
While neither starter pitched well, the Cubs' bullpen dominated and Piniella went out of his way to praise Samardzija, the former Notre Dame football star.
"We've been looking for one more good arm in the bullpen and I think we found it," he said.
|The bats of Mike Fontenot and Derrek Lee produce all four runs in the seventh inning against the Marlins. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Hanley Ramirez, SS||4||0||2||0||1||1||0||.299|
|Jeremy Hermida, RF||5||0||0||0||0||3||3||.256|
|Jorge Cantu, 3B||5||0||1||0||0||0||1||.291|
|Josh Willingham, LF||3||1||0||0||1||1||1||.262|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||3||3||2||1||0||0||0||.269|
|Mike Jacobs, 1B||4||2||3||5||0||1||0||.245|
|Cody Ross, CF||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.255|
|John Baker, C||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.167|
|Rick VandenHurk, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||3||.000|
|Mark Hendrickson, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.265|
|Joe Nelson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Luis Gonzalez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.261|
|Matt Lindstrom, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Nelson in the 8th|
|HR - Dan Uggla (25, Marquis), Mike Jacobs 2 (22, Marquis, Marquis)|
|RBI - Dan Uggla (62), Mike Jacobs 5 (60)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mike Jacobs 2 (34)|
|CS - Hanley Ramirez (9, 2nd base by Marquis/Blanco)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Uggla-H. Ramirez-Jacobs|
|Mark Hendrickson (L,7-8)||3||3||3||3||1||0||1||6.09|
|IBB - Ward by Joe Nelson|
|HBP - Ramirez (by Rick VandenHurk)|
|WP - Joe Nelson 2 (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Rick VandenHurk 86-53, Mark Hendrickson 44-25, Joe Nelson 18-8, Matt Lindstrom 9-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rick VandenHurk 3-2, Mark Hendrickson 5-3, Joe Nelson 1-0, Matt Lindstrom 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Rick VandenHurk 22, Mark Hendrickson 12, Joe Nelson 4, Matt Lindstrom 3|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||5||2||3||3||0||0||1||.281|
|Ryan Theriot, SS||4||1||1||0||0||2||3||.318|
|Derrek Lee, 1B||5||1||2||2||0||1||1||.296|
|Aramis Ramirez, 3B||3||0||2||1||1||0||0||.272|
|Jim Edmonds, CF||5||1||0||0||0||2||6||.236|
|Mark DeRosa, 2B||3||1||0||0||1||0||1||.271|
|Kosuke Fukudome, RF||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.277|
|Henry Blanco, C||3||1||1||0||0||1||1||.300|
|a- Daryle Ward, PH||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||.254|
|Geovany Soto, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.273|
|Jason Marquis, P||1||1||0||0||1||1||1||.158|
|b- Ronny Cedeno, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.277|
|Chad Gaudin, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Mike Fontenot, PH||1||0||1||3||0||0||0||.284|
|Jeff Samardzija, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-was walked intentionally for Blanco in the 7th|
|b-singled for Marquis in the 6th|
|c-doubled for Gaudin in the 7th|
|2B - Ryan Theriot (16, VandenHurk), Aramis Ramirez (24, VandenHurk), Mike Fontenot (15, Nelson)|
|HR - Alfonso Soriano (16, VandenHurk), Derrek Lee (17, Hendrickson)|
|SH - Ryan Theriot (2)|
|RBI - Alfonso Soriano 3 (44), Derrek Lee 2 (63), Aramis Ramirez (71), Mike Fontenot 3 (28)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mike Fontenot 3 (10)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Ramirez-DeRosa-Lee|
|Chad Gaudin (W,6-4)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||3.36|
|Jeff Samardzija (S,1)||2||0||0||0||0||3||0||2.25|
|HBP - Uggla (by Jason Marquis)|
|WP - Jason Marquis (6)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 103-64, Chad Gaudin 17-10, Jeff Samardzija 25-16|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Marquis 5-6, Jeff Samardzija 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 30, Chad Gaudin 3, Jeff Samardzija 6|
|Attendance - 41017|
|Game Time - 2:53|
|Temperature - 82|
|Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Scott Barry, Second Base - Brian Gorman, Third Base - Bruce Dreckman|