Cubs score 8 runs in 7th, beat Marlins 9-2

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MIAMI (AP)—The Chicago Cubs put together a big seventh inning to make Ryan Dempster a winner and secure a 5-1 road trip.

Two-run doubles by Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez and a three-run double by Reed Johnson sparked an eight-run seventh and the Cubs rallied past the Florida Marlins, 9-2 on Sunday.

Dempster (14-5) struck out 10 batters in six innings to win for the fourth time in six starts. He gave up two runs, the sixth straight game in which he has allowed two runs or fewer.

“It was a grind … mentally and physically … to bear down and make pitches,” said Dempster, who worked through a sixth inning in which the Marlins scored once and seemed primed for more with runners on first and third with none out.

Dempster then struck out Mike Jacobs and Dan Uggla, and after an intentional walk, got out of the inning by getting Cody Ross to line out to center.

The Cubs, who had their nine-game road winning streak snapped with a 2-1 loss on Saturday, rebounded to win for the sixth time in seven games overall. Chicago began the day with a 4 1/2 game lead in the NL Central.

“A 5-1 road trip—you gotta be pleased,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “The position we’re in, winning series is what we’re shooting for.”

The third-place Marlins lost for the fourth time in five games to fall 4 1/2 games behind the New York Mets in the NL East.

“Its been a tough stretch,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Everybody goes through it. Well go out on the road and try to turn this thing around.”

Trailing 2-0 in the seventh, the Cubs sent 12 batters to the plate.

Mike Fontenot opened with a double to right and took third on Johnson’s single. Florida starter Chris Volstad was replaced by Renyel Pinto (2-5), who walked pinch-hitter Mark DeRosa.

Soriano then hit a liner to left that fell in front of diving Luis Gonzalez to go for a double that scored Fontenot and Johnson to tie the score. After Ryan Theriot grounded out, Derrek Lee was walked intentionally to load the bases.

Ramirez then smashed a 3-2 pitch to the right of third baseman Jorge Cantu to score DeRosa and Soriano for a 4-2 lead.

“Through three at-bats I didn’t feel too good but I got a hit at the most important part of the game,” Soriano said.

Gonzalez refused to second guess his decision to dive, which resulted in the ball bouncing away from the left fielder.

“If I make the play, its a great play. If not, like today, I’m sure somebody is going to call and say, ‘You should have stayed back.’ That’s baseball,” Gonzalez said.

Following Kosuke Fukudome’s sacrifice fly and a walk to Geovany Soto, Logan Kensing replaced Pinto. Kensing walked pinch-hitter Ronny Cedeno before yielding Johnson’s bases-clearing double to deep left-center that made the score 8-2.

“Those are guys that can swing the bat and hit the ball out of the park, so you never know. You want to keep tacking on runs when you play a team like that,” said Johnson, whose four hits included two doubles.

Volstad was charged with two runs and six hits in six-plus innings. Pinto gave up five runs in two-thirds of an inning. It was the third straight appearance in which Pinto has allowed at least a run, and he has allowed 11 earned runs in 3 2-3 innings in August.

The Cubs’ highest-scoring inning of the season was a nine-run frame against the Chicago White Sox on June 21. They now have 36 come-from-behind wins.

The Marlins runs scored on John Baker’s third-inning groundout and Gonzalez’s sixth-inning double.

DeRosa had a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

Florida’s Jacobs and Uggla each struck out four times.


Florida’s Jeremy Hermida was 0-for-17 on the homestand before his single leading off the fifth. … The Cubs tied a season-high with six doubles. … Chicago is 6-0-1 in its last seven series. … Pinto stood at his locker following the game but ignored questions asked of him.

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