MIAMI (AP) - A frustrating night for the Florida Marlins ended with a disputed call.
Ruled out on a close play at first base, Gaby Sanchez argued and followed the umpire for several steps before pealing off toward his dugout and conceding defeat.
Florida stranded 12 runners and lost Thursday to the Chicago Cubs, 5-1.
Manager Edwin Rodriguez agreed with Sanchez that umpire Rob Drake missed the final call.
``That wasn't even close,' Rodriguez said. ``But the game ends. We have to shut it down. There's nothing else we can do.'
And despite the disputed call, the Marlins had only themselves to blame after a defeat that completed a two-game sweep. Florida went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
``That's pretty much the story,' Rodriguez said. ``It's not a matter of lacking effort or intensity, it's just not going our way right now.'
Mike Stanton struck out three times against Casey Coleman (2-3), then hit his ninth homer in the eighth off Kerry Wood. Hanley Ramirez, trying to shake a season-long slump, had two hits and hiked his average to .217.
But leadoff hitter Chris Coghlan went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts, and he's in a 3-for-33 slump that has dropped his average to .238.
Coleman walked five but retired five batters with runners in scoring position and lowered his ERA from 7.22 to 6.03. Several of his outs came on hard-hit balls.
``In some ways I consider myself lucky,' Coleman said. ``But you have to make pitches, and I feel like I did that for the most part.'
Chris Volstad (2-3) allowed three runs in five innings for the Marlins. They trailed 3-0 when he was pulled for a pinch-hitter by Rodriguez after throwing only 71 pitches.
``We were looking for more offense,' Rodriguez said. ``That was the only reason I took him out.'
Volstad gave up a two-run homer to Marlon Byrd and an RBI double by Reed Johnson.
``I felt great, as good as I've felt,' Volstad said. ``Other than the pitch to Byrd that he hit out, I had nine ground balls. I was in the zone, not falling behind too many guys. Definitely a step in the right direction.'
Coleman had a career-high seven strikeouts in 5 2-3 shutout innings for the Cubs. After blowing leads to lose both games in a series at Cincinnati, they bounced back by defeating Florida twice.
``To play the way we did in Cincinnati - we should have won,' Byrd said. ``Here we get two wins against a team that is very good.'
The Marlins remained 1 1/2 games behind NL East leader Philadelphia despite their sputtering offense.
The Cubs know the feeling. They've struggled to generate power for much of the season, but they totaled 12 runs in two games in Miami and have homered in the past four games.
``We've been hitting singles and more singles,' Coleman said. ``Now we're starting to drive the ball more. Everyone has confidence in these guys. This summer at Wrigley is going to be a lot of fun.'
First the Cubs head to Fenway Park, where they'll play this weekend for the first time since the 1918 World Series.
``I'm a history buff,' Byrd said. ``But our focus is going in and winning.'
Against Florida, Chicago scored in the second inning on doubles by Carlos Pena and Johnson. Amaris Ramirez doubled and Byrd homered in the fourth.
The Cubs were only 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position before Castro doubled in the ninth off Burke Badenhop to score Koyie Hill and Kosuke Fukudome, who reached on singles.
NOTES: The Marlins lead the NL with a record of 127-107 (.543) in interleague play going into their weekend series against Tampa Bay. ... Heading into the Cubs' weekend series at Fenway Park, Byrd has a career average of .378 (17 for 45) in 12 games there. ... Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez committed his eighth error in the first inning. ... Fukudome is 1 for 14 lifetime against Volstad.
The Associated Press News Service
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