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Cubs turn to Fujikawa as closer

The SportsXchange

Just one week into the season, Carlos Marmol received a quick hook as the Chicago Cubs' closer.

A day after Marmol blew a ninth-inning lead by giving up the tying and winning home runs in a loss to the Atlanta Braves, Marmol is out and Kyuji Fujikawa is in. Manager Dale Sveum announced the change before Sunday's game in Atlanta.

Marmol has given up five earned runs in 1 2/3 innings and has a 27.00 ERA this season. He will be used in a setup role for the foreseeable future.

"You can't complain about it," Marmol said. "They say it's better for me and for the team. I'll take it. I agree."

Fujikawa, who signed a two-year, $9.5 million contract this winter after 12 seasons in Japan, also struggled n Saturday night's loss to the Braves, giving up three runs in the eighth inning that allowed the Braves to trim a 5-1 deficit to 5-4.

"I came into the season with the mindset of a set-up man," Fujikawa said. "Once Marmol's condition gets better, I think there is a chance he'll come back. We all have to fight through it."

Sveum wants to settle on a closer, though, and Fujikawa has the credentials, posting 196 career saves in Japan.

If Fujikawa is unsuccessful in that role, Shawn Camp or James Russell could be next in line.

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