CHICAGO (AP) - Carlos Marmol was on the mound, ready to close out a victory for the Chicago Cubs. Then, in a flash, everything went wrong.
Marmol couldn't find the plate.
The closer surrendered a two-run double by pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs and blew a two-run lead in a 6-3 loss to the surging Florida Marlins on Thursday night.
The Marlins trailed 2-0 before sending 11 batters to the plate in their final at-bat while extending their season-high winning streak to six games.
Matt Garza threw seven scoreless innings for Chicago and Sean Marshall worked the eighth, but Marmol (2-3) unraveled while picking up his seventh blown save opportunity in 26 chances.
``Tomorrow, hopefully I can get a save situation again,' said Marmol, who also blew a save opportunity last weekend at Pittsburgh.
The right-hander faced five batters Thursday night and failed to record an out. He walked four and was charged with five runs, hiking his ERA from 2.57 to 3.64. It's the sort of performance that could cost a closer his job, but manager Mike Quade is not leaning in that direction.
``Not right now,' Quade said. ``You take something like this and try to figure out how to fix it. Sean Marshall and Woody have done that before, can do that, but we're not going to be any good without all three of them. We're not.'
Marmol walked Mike Stanton, Mike Cameron and John Buck, throwing just one strike in the process, and Dobbs- batting in the pitcher's spot - followed with a double into the right-field corner.
Dewayne Wise, running for Buck, slipped between third and home but scored anyway when second baseman Darwin Barney's relay bounced past catcher Geovany Soto for a throwing error that gave Florida a 3-2 lead.
Marmol then walked Emilio Bonifacio before being pulled for Kerry Wood, who walked Omar Infante to load the bases again and allowed a sacrifice fly by Gaby Sanchez and run-scoring single by Hanley Ramirez.
James Russell retired Logan Morrison on a grounder and intentionally walked Stanton. Cameron responded with an RBI single to make it 6-2 and Ramirez was thrown out trying to score, ending the inning.
``Be patient, be selective, get good pitches to hit . they did that,' Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. ``Consequently, they couldn't throw the ball over, so take it, take it, take it. Make them throw strikes.'
As for Marmol?
``I'll take Carlos Marmol in the ninth anytime,' teammate Marlon Byrd said.
The big rally handed a win to Edward Mujica (7-2), who recorded the final out in the eighth.
Leo Nunez allowed a run in the bottom half on Brett Hayes' passed ball, but struck out pinch-hitter Reed Johnson and Kosuke Fukudome with a runner on third to end the game.
The Cubs looked as if they were in good shape, getting a solo homer from Byrd in the second and tacking on another run in the seventh, when they chased Anibal Sanchez and Steve Cishek hit Barney with the bases loaded.
Garza was simply terrific, allowing six hits and striking out six after lasting just two innings in his previous start against Washington.
``We can still win three here,' Garza said. ``We can come back.'
NOTES: Marlins RHP Clay Hensley, on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right shoulder, will start Monday against the New York Mets. He made a rehab start Wednesday at Double-A Jacksonville and threw 72 pitches. ... Quade had a chance to talk things over with Ryan Dempster, who will start Friday. Dempster got in shouting match with his manager Saturday at Pittsburgh when he was pulled after five innings. ``Everything is fantastic,' Quade said. ``I was going to tell you about the conversation I had with my girlfriend last night, too, but that's off limits as well.'
The Associated Press News Service
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