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FLA@CHC: Garza stellar over seven shutout innings

CHICAGO -- Carlos Marmol walked four, couldn't retire a batter and blew a save -- but he still has his job.

The Chicago closer gave up five runs in the ninth as the Marlins roared back to beat the Cubs, 6-3, on Thursday. Marmol's implosion wasted a stellar start from Matt Garza, who went seven scoreless innings and left with a 2-0 lead. Marmol faced five batters, walking four of them. He threw 25 pitches, seven for strikes.

"That's Marmol," Marlins outfielder Mike Cameron said. "He can dot you with three pitches or he can throw it anywhere."

Marmol has experienced control problems in the past, and those issues resurfaced on Thursday.

"That was pretty bad," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "That was as bad as I've seen him. Still, you feel like he's got a chance to pull it together. We've seen him do that too. But not tonight."

Marmol (2-3) entered the ninth with a 2-0 lead, but he walked the first three batters on 13 combined pitches. Pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs then lined a double to the right-field corner. Mike Stanton and Cameron scored easily, but pinch-runner Dewayne Wise -- the go-ahead run -- tripped rounding third base. Wise got to his feet and kept on toward home. The Cubs looked to have a chance to get him, but Darwin Barney's relay throw skipped past Geovany Soto, and Wise scored. Barney received an error for the throw.

The blown save was Marmol's seventh in 26 chances.

"Nothing worked today," he said.

How will he get past it?

"I've got my kids here," he said. "I can't do anything about today. I have to be ready for tomorrow, save situation or not. I have to pitch and get it done."

With the Cubs returning from the All-Star break, Marmol hadn't pitched in five days.

"When you're used to pitching every day, you feel a little uncomfortable," Marmol said. "I don't make excuses. I couldn't throw strikes."

Usually Marmol gets out of the messes he creates, but not this time.

"[Marmol] should know himself at this point as well as anybody," Quade said. "We've talked about him mechanically before, some of the things that make him so good make it tough for him to stay consistent, release-point wise."

The blown save cost Garza a win, as the right-hander shut down the Marlins over seven innings. The effort was a solid rebound for Garza, who had gone just two-plus innings in his last start against Washington on July 7, surrendering seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and a walk.

"You can get upset all you want. It's not going to fix anything," Garza said. "It is what it is. You just keep going."

Marmol had a bad outing right before the All-Star break, when he gave up two runs in one-third of an inning in Pittsburgh. But Quade said he isn't considering moving Marmol out of the closer's role.

"Not right now," Quade said. "I think you take something like this and try to figure out how to fix it. We've got [Sean] Marshall and [Kerry Wood] who have done that before, can do that, but we're not going to be any good without all three of them. We're not."

Marmol watched video of himself with pitching coach Mark Riggins a day after his poor pitching performance in Pittsburgh. Despite two bad outings in a week, Marmol said he's still confident.

"I don't feel like I'm throwing my good slider now," he said. "I trust my slider, trust me. That's the reason I'm here, because I trust me."

Marlon Byrd homered off Anibal Sanchez to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the second. It was his fourth homer and first since May 19, also against Florida.

The Marlins' win was their sixth in a row. Comments