Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Cubs rally, Marmol gets W in 6-3 victory over Brewers

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Wrigley Field was a cold and quiet place in the winter with Kyuji Fujikawa made his first visits from Japan before signing with the Cubs.
It was still very cold Tuesday when he entered in the ninth for the first time--but the atmosphere was different.
``With the fans and the enthusiasm of the crowd, it was much better than when I came and it was empty,'' he said.
The sparse remains of an announced crowd of 30,065 warmed Fukikawa and the Cubs after a come from behind 6-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers--and a second save for the new closer.
As positive, he saved it for the pitcher he replaced--Carlos Marmol.
That is the first irony for the Cubs pitching staff, which saw another stellar outing from lefthander Travis Wood, who didn't get the victory but was saved from a defeat when his teammates rallied to tie the game at 3-3 and win it with a three-run eighth.
``I had a high pitch count [after a long second inning when two errors and four hits accounted for all the Brewers scoring], but I got us to the seventh and then the hitters did their jobs in the end and pulled it out,'' Wood said.
As fate would have it, a long day on Monday for righthanded reliever Shawn Camp meant he was unavailable to work Tuesday night--leaving Marmol as manager Dale Sveum's option to work the eighth.
He got two quick outs before the crowd found another reason to boo as Jean Segura tripled.
But Yuniesky Betancourt grounded out to end the inning, leaving Marmol (1-1) as the pitcher of record for the Cubs' three-run rally in the bottom of the inning.
``I'm glad he gave me that situation,'' Marmol said of manager Dale Sveum.
It was one of several positive situations for the manager, who lamented before the game about the team's lack of timely hitting with runners in scoring position.
The team showed signs of coming out of that in the ninth inning Monday, that rally falling short in a 7-4 loss.
But not the second time.
``We didn't do much early, but later in the game we came through,'' he said of ending a four-game losing streak. ``We had some really good at bats late in the game. When they're down, it's good to see them battling back.''
It came from all sectors, including David DeJesus (3-for-5 with a double and two RBI); Nate Schierholtz with a double leading the eighth; and bench players Steve Clevenger (pinch hit single and run scored) and Scott Hairston (sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to break the 3-3 tie).
``Keep playing like that every day,'' said shortstop Starlin Castro, a victim of the 31 degree wind chill in the second when he committed one of the team's three errors. ``It was so cold and you can't feel the ball,'' he said.
Castro made some good plays too, including handling the grounder that ended the eighth inning. His single in the third also extended his hitting streak to four games.
But the beginning and the end were more about pitching, from Wood's performance to Fujikawa's.
``Wood only gave up one hard hit ball,'' Sveum said. ``He really pitched a good game.
``Marmol threw strikes and got the win. He's not the closer, but we're getting him in more comfortable situations.
``Fujikawa threw strikes when he had to [getting two strikeouts around a single by Ryan Braun and after an error by third baseman Luis Valbuena allowed Norichika Aoki to reach]. He came right at them with fastballs all the time.''
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This page contains a single entry by Toni Ginnetti published on April 9, 2013 11:05 PM.

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