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CINCINNATI -- An unprecedented matchup of birthday-celebrating starters came down to the bullpens. Carlos Marmol got a little wild, lost a three-run lead and, perhaps, his job as well.
The Cincinnati Reds scored three runs in the ninth off Marmol to tie it, and Scott Rolen hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning for a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs and a split of their two-game series.
The Reds needed a lot of help to pull it out, and got it.
"It didn't look good there for a while," said Rolen, who got most of the day off but came in at third base to start the 10th. "After we came back to tie the game, the only thing left is to finish it."
Marmol spoiled a big moment for Ryan Dempster, who returned from the disabled list and pitched eight shutout innings on his 35th birthday. He allowed only three hits and was in line to get his first win since Aug. 11.
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Dempster got the better of Homer Bailey, who turned 26 on Thursday. It was the first time in major-league history that both starters were celebrating a birthday, according to information provided by the Reds, citing the Elias Sports Bureau.
Both pitchers signed baseballs for the Hall of Fame.
"That's something neat," Dempster said.
The Reds stood at the plate and watched Marmol self-destruct in the ninth. He walked Willie Harris and Joey Votto on nine pitches to open the inning. An error by Ian Stewart -- the third baseman rushed trying to turn a double play -- let in a run.
Jay Bruce singled to load the bases, and Marmol walked Ryan Ludwick to force in a run that made it 3-2 and ended the closer's outing. Rafael Dolis (1-2) relieved and got a double play that left it tied at 3.
Marmol threw 18 pitches, only six of them strikes.
"Sometimes he's throwing strikes, and then he's practically unhittable," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "The key is to swing at strikes and make him throw balls. We don't have a whole lot of guys who hit him well."
Marmol has blown three of his five save chances, walking 12 in 8 2/3 innings. Manager Dale Sveum said after the game that he'll consider moving him out of the closer's role.
"You have a game like that -- I'm embarrassed right now," Marmol said.
Another error helped the Reds win it. Zack Cozart singled in the 10th off Dolis, who then threw wildly to first base on Chris Heisey's sacrifice attempt. Rolen followed with his sacrifice fly to deep right field. Logan Ondrusek (2-0) pitched the 10th.
LaHair has provided the bulk of the Cubs' power this season, hitting seven of their 14 homers. Chicago hit only nine in April, fewest in the majors, but had five in the two games at Great American Ball Park -- all of them solo shots.
Chicago now has homered in a season-high four consecutive games.
Dempster's long winless streak -- now 13 games -- is partly due to a lack of support. He had allowed only three earned runs in three starts this season before hurting his thigh, but the Cubs scored a total of four runs in those games. He lowered his ERA to 0.95 this season with the eight shutout innings.
It was the second year in a row that he pitched well on his birthday and failed to get a win. Last year, he allowed only one run over seven innings and got a no-decision in a 4-1 win over the Dodgers.
The Cubs also activated reliever Kerry Wood off the disabled list before the game. He had been sidelined with fatigue in his pitching shoulder.
|Zack Cozart comes home with the winning run in the 10th inning and gets a high-five from Joey Votto. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
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|David DeJesus, RF||5||0||1||0||0||0||1||.235|
|Darwin Barney, 2B||5||0||1||0||0||0||1||.256|
|Starlin Castro, SS||5||1||1||1||0||0||2||.333|
|Bryan LaHair, 1B||4||1||2||1||1||1||0||.388|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.250|
|Tony Campana, CF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.344|
|Ian Stewart, 3B||4||0||2||0||0||2||0||.188|
|Reed Johnson, CF-LF||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.194|
|Geovany Soto, C||4||1||1||1||0||1||4||.161|
|Ryan Dempster, P||3||0||0||0||0||2||3||.000|
|a- Joe Mather, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.320|
|Carlos Marmol, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Rafael Dolis, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-doubled for Dempster in the 9th|
|2B - Ian Stewart (3, Bailey), Joe Mather (2, Marshall)|
|HR - Starlin Castro (1, Bailey), Bryan LaHair (7, Bailey), Geovany Soto (2, Bailey)|
|RBI - Starlin Castro (15), Bryan LaHair (16), Geovany Soto (3)|
|2-OUT RBI - Starlin Castro (4)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Castro-Barney-LaHair|
|E - Rafael Dolis (1, Throwing), Ian Stewart (2, Misplayed grounder)|
|Rafael Dolis (BS,1; L,1-2)||1.1||1||1||0||0||1||0||3.52|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Dempster 98-65, Carlos Marmol 18-6, Rafael Dolis 17-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Dempster 11-7, Carlos Marmol 1-0, Rafael Dolis 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Ryan Dempster 28, Carlos Marmol 5, Rafael Dolis 5|
|Chris Heisey, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.204|
|Willie Harris, 3B||3||1||0||0||1||1||0||.088|
|Scott Rolen, 3B||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||.178|
|Joey Votto, 1B||3||1||2||0||1||1||0||.293|
|Brandon Phillips, 2B||4||1||0||0||0||0||2||.239|
|Jay Bruce, RF||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.299|
|Ryan Ludwick, LF||3||0||1||1||1||2||2||.197|
|Devin Mesoraco, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.265|
|Wilson Valdez, SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.200|
|Logan Ondrusek, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Homer Bailey, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.091|
|Jose Arredondo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Aroldis Chapman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Todd Frazier, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.357|
|Sean Marshall, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Zack Cozart, SS||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.267|
|a-grounded out for Chapman in the 8th|
|2B - Joey Votto (11, Dempster)|
|SF - Scott Rolen (1)|
|SH - Chris Heisey (1)|
|RBI - Scott Rolen (9), Ryan Ludwick (11)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Harris-B. Phillips-Votto|
|Logan Ondrusek (W,2-0)||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|IBB - Johnson by Homer Bailey|
|Pitches-Strikes - Homer Bailey 97-69, Jose Arredondo 10-7, Aroldis Chapman 16-13, Sean Marshall 20-14, Logan Ondrusek 12-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Homer Bailey 4-9, Aroldis Chapman 1-0, Logan Ondrusek 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Homer Bailey 27, Jose Arredondo 3, Aroldis Chapman 3, Sean Marshall 4, Logan Ondrusek 4|
|Attendance - 23288|
|Game Time - 3:03|
|Temperature - 83|
|Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Doug Eddings, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Dana DeMuth|