Cubs 5, Marlins 1

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CHICAGO (AP)—Kerry Wood and Sammy Sosa got back on track in a hurry for the Chicago Cubs.

Wood, coming off his worst start of the year, struck out 12 in a three-hitter, and Sosa hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning as the Cubs beat the Florida Marlins 5-1 on Wednesday.

“It’s even better for me coming off a rocky start on my last one,” Wood said. “I got beat around a little bit.”

Last Friday, Wood allowed three homers, six walks and seven runs in three-plus innings of an 11-8 loss to St. Louis.

On Tuesday, Sosa popped out to end the game with the tying run on base in a 4-3 loss to Florida.

“Sometimes it’s a situation that people that understand baseball, understand all those little things that we need to go through,” Sosa said. “Yesterday they probably said a lot of things about me, but today they love me.”

Wood (9-6) threw 129 pitches—79 strikes—in his second complete game of the season. It was the seventh time this season and 34th in his career that Wood has struck out 10 or more.

“I felt strong today. My fastball felt good and I was able to get ahead of guys,” Wood said. “I was able to go to work with the slider and I actually had a pretty decent curveball today.”

Jose Hernandez also hit a two-run homer in the eighth for Chicago, which won its first series since taking two of three from Baltimore on June 10-12.

In the eighth, Marlins starter Carl Pavano (6-10) gave up a leadoff double to Mark Grudzielanek. Sosa followed with his 15th homer and 514th of his career—onto Waveland Avenue, giving the Cubs a 3-1 lead.

Moises Alou then singled, chasing Pavano, who allowed seven hits and three runs in seven-plus innings.

Tommy Phelps relieved and got Hee Seop Choi to hit into a double play. Ramon Martinez then walked and Hernandez followed with his 10th home run of the season, making it 5-1.

Florida didn’t get its first hit until Luis Castillo led off the fourth with a single to left. Ivan Rodriguez followed with another single to left, moving Castillo to third. Castillo scored on Derrek Lee’s groundout.

“We weren’t doing anything with the bats,” Florida manager Jack McKeon said. “In order to win, you’ve got to score some runs.”

Tom Goodwin hit into a fielder’s choice in the fifth and stole second and advanced to third after Alex Gonzalez dropped Rodriguez’s throw. Sosa hit atwo-out RBI single, driving in Goodwin to tie at 1. ^Notes: Mike Lowell was given the day off. He is hitless in his last 19 at-bats. … Sosa made a leaping catching against the ivy in right on Juan Pierre’s flyball in the third inning.

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