DeJesus, Cubs win third straight

Walter Villa, The Sports Xchange

MIAMI -- David DeJesus hit a seventh-inning run-scoring and tiebreaking single to help the Chicago Cubs defeat the Miami Marlins 3-2 on Saturday night.

It was the third win in a row for the Cubs (9-14), who are in last place in the National League Central Division. The Cubs will go for the four-game sweep Sunday afternoon.

Kevin Gregg got his team-high third save of the season and his second in two nights.

The Marlins, meanwhile, continue to struggle. They have the worst record in the major leagues at 5-19 and the worst home record (2-10) as well.

Playing Saturday before an announced crowd of 27,519 at Marlins Park -- Miami's second-largest home crowd of the year -- the Cubs started their winning rally in the seventh with a leadoff single to right by Wellington Castillo.

With two outs, the Marlins lifted starter Alex Sanabia. But reliever Mike Dunn walked pinch-hitter Julio Borbon and gave up DeJesus' ground-ball single up the middle.

The victory went to starter Travis Wood (2-1), who allowed just three hits, one walk and two runs in six innings. His ERA is 2.25.

The loss went to Sanabia (2-3), who pitched reasonably well, allowing six hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings. After giving up two early runs, he pitched four scoreless innings before running into trouble in the seventh.

After the Cubs took their 3-2 lead, the Marlins had a couple of good chances to tie or take the lead. They got their first two batters on base in the seventh on a walk to Justin Ruggiano and a single by Joe Mahoney. But Miguel Olivo grounded into a double play to doom the inning.

In the eighth, the Marlins got a leadoff infield single by Juan Pierre and a two-out walk by Giancarlo Stanton but failed to get them around -- amid some controversy. With two out, Austin Kearns hit a grounder to shortstop Starting Castro, who dived to his left and pitched the ball from his belly to second baseman Darwin Barney. Although Barney stretched to grab the throw, it appeared that Stanton may have been safe.

Entering Saturday, the Marlins had been out-homered at home, 11-2. But that was not the case early in Saturday's game as the Marlins rallied to tie the score twice, each on solo home runs.

The Cubs, who scored after three batters had taken their swings in the first inning Friday, got on the board even quicker Saturday. Leadoff man DeJesus doubled to the right-field corner and advanced to third when Stanton bobbled the ball.

DeJesus then scored on Sanabia's wild pitch.

Stanton made up for his error by blasting his long-awaited first homer of the season. Stanton, who hit 37 bombs last season, got a 3-1 pitch and slugged it 472 feet, over the scoreboard in left field.

The Cubs went back in front, 2-1, in the second. Leadoff batter Nate Schierholtz hit an opposite-field double to the corner in left and scored on a single by Luis Valbuena, who hit a sharp liner just over Sanabia's head.

Miguel Olivo tied the score 2-2 in the bottom of the second, lifting a 398-foot homer to left. It was his second homer of the season and just the ninth for the Marlins.

NOTES: After Friday's game, the Marlins were dead last in the majors in batting average (.222) and runs scored (59). ... Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs' hero on Friday with a pair of two-run homers, had been in a 1-for-20 slump before the game. ... Entering Saturday, the Marlins had to use their bullpen for 78 1/3 innings, which was the sixth-highest work rate in the majors. ... The Cubs set a franchise record by seeing 19 of their first 22 games decided by three runs or less.