Ryan Dempster struck out nine batters and kept Florida from scoring any runs over eight innings to earn the win on Friday afternoon at Wrigley.
But the game wasn’t without drama, as closer Carlos Marmol entered the ninth inning with a 2-0 lead and gave up a run on a walk and two hits, losing the closer’s job in the process. Marmol hasn’t been his dominant self for the entire month of July, and manager Mike Quade has decided to remove Marmol from the closer job until he can work out the kinks in his mechanics.
Sean Marshall came on in relief of Marmol and struck out Mike Stanton to close out the game, after Hanley Ramirez had been tagged out trying to stretch his RBI single into a double for the second out of the inning. It’s unknown who will be the new Cubs closer going forward, but Sean Marshall or Kerry Wood seem to be good bets.
The Cubs only scored two runs off of Ricky Nolasco on the afternoon, who was largely dominant, throwing seven innings and giving up just those two runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out seven. The runs for the home team came in the bottom of the fourth inning as Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd scored on a fielding error committed by Omar Infante that also saw Alfonso Soriano reach first.
Those two runs would turn out to be just enough to let the Cubs even their series with Florida. The two teams play the third game of the series on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 P.M., CDT.