for this game

Marshall outpitches Owings as Cubs down Diamondbacks

Aug 25, 2007 - 6:04 AM By Bob Huhn PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PHOENIX (Ticker) - In a battle of division leaders, Sean Marshall stepped up and tossed six innings of two-hit ball to help the Chicago Cubs post a 6-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.

Derrek Lee and Mark DeRosa had key hits in a two-run first inning for the Cubs, who increased their lead to 1 1/2 games in the National League Central over the Milwaukee Brewers (65-63).

Marshall (7-6) stymied the Diamondbacks for the second time this season. The lefthander, who turns 25 on August 30, suffered a loss against Arizona on July 22 despite surrendering just one run and five hits.

"Tonight they came out aggressive and that worked to my advantage," Marshall said. "That gave me some quick innings and I used that momentum to pitch deeper in the game and it worked out."

Marshall seems to be over the struggles which saw him go 0-2 with a 10.38 ERA while allowing opponents a .393 batting average in his first three starts this month. In his past two starts, including Friday's outing, he is 2-0, yielding a total of three runs and seven hits in 11 innings.

"Our starting pitchers have been doing a really good job of keeping us in the game," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "Marshall pitched six really good innings of baseball and we finally punched a few runs across, but it was Marshall doing a real good job of pitching."

The Diamondbacks have struggled against the top two teams in the NL Central this week, losing two of three at home to the Brewers before dropping Friday's series opener against Chicago. Arizona (72-57) now leads the NL West by just two games over the San Diego Padres (69-58).

The Cubs started a rally in the first when Diamondbacks starter Micah Owings (7-6) issued a walk to Ryan Theriot leading off the game. Theriot moved to second on Jacque Jones' groundout and scored on Lee's RBI single.

After Aramis Ramirez struck out and Cliff Floyd singled, DeRosa plated Lee home with a single to right-center field to open a 2-0 lead.

With the regulars in the lineup unable to get anything started for Arizona, Owings took it upon himself to cut the deficit in half, belting the first pitch from Marshall 386 feet into the left field bleachers for a solo homer. It was the third home run for the big righthander in his last two games and the fourth of the season.

Last Saturday, the 24-year-old Owings had four hits and two homers against the Atlanta Braves. He also pitched seven innings and allowed three runs in that game to pick up first win in 11 starts.

Marshall had retired all nine batters he faced before Owings' homer and was lifted following the sixth inning, having surrendering just one run and striking out five while walking one.

Owings (6-7) went six-plus innings, allowing three runs and seven hits while striking out two and issuing one walk. At the plate he was 1-for-2 with the homer.

"I felt good even in the first, but they just got some hits that fell their way," Owings said. "I was able to settle down and we stuck to the game plan and was able to put together some good innings."

When Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin was returning to the dugout after removing Owings, he had a heated argument with home plate umpire Eric Cooper and was tossed from the game. The two had to be separated by crew chief Mike Reilly. It was Melvin's second ejection of the season.

"I just got frustrated with the strike zone," Melvin said. "He (Cooper) thought they were balls, I thought they were strikes. It happens and that is what happens when you get a little frustrated. Coop and I will be fine."

Arizona had a chance to tie the game in the fifth inning when Chris Snyder led off with a double down the line in left. He went to third on a wild pitch and, after Marshall struck out Mark Reynolds, Justin Upton smashed a hard ground ball to the right of shortstop Theriot, who made a diving stop, jumped back on his feet and threw to catcher Jason Kendall. The veteran backstop blocked the plate from the slide of Snyder and applied the tag.

"Because Upton is so fast I probably wouldn't have had him at first, so percentage-wise that was my only play," Theriot said. "When I was on my dive I peeked up and felt I had a chance at him (Snyder). Had that ball been hit like that up the middle I would have gone to first but it turned out to be a big play."

"What can I say?" Snyder said. "I'm just slow."

The Cubs picked up and insurance tally in the sixth and put the game away with a three-run rally in the ninth inning. DeRosa scored on a wild pitch and Theriot and Jones provided RBI hits to complete Chicago's scoring. The team had five hits in the frame and 14 for the game.

"It was kind of tight there for a while but we were able to add some more runs," Jones said. "We need to take care of our business and we will be fine. If we don't, we won't.

"The bullpen has been pitching well and it is easier to pitch when you have some breathing room."

The Diamondbacks made some noise in the bottom of the ninth, plating a run and putting two more men on base before Cubs closer Ryan Dempster came on to get the final out and pick up his 21st save.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 6 14 0
    ARIZONA 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHN - SEAN MARSHALL, CARLOS MARMOL (7TH), BOBBY HOWRY (8TH), MIKE
    WUERTZ (9TH), RYAN DEMPSTER (9TH) AND JASON KENDALL
    ARI - MICAH OWINGS, JUAN CRUZ (7TH), DUSTIN NI

    Aug 25 12:44 AM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY CHRIS SNYDER SCORED ERIC BYRNES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C JACKSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 6
    ARIZONA 2 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: M REYNOLDS (.268, 0-FOR-3)

    Cubs vs. DiamondbacksAug 25 12:39 AM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JACQUE JONES SCORED FELIX PIE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J JONES ON FIRST, R THERIOT ON SECOND, C
    MONROE ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 6
    ARIZONA 1 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: D LEE (.312, 1-FOR-4, RBI)

    Cubs vs. DiamondbacksAug 25 12:29 AM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN THERIOT SCORED JASON KENDALL.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R THERIOT ON FIRST, C MONROE ON SECOND, F
    PIE ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 5
    ARIZONA 1 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: J JONES (.272, 3-FOR-4)

    Cubs vs. DiamondbacksAug 25 12:24 AM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY DUSTIN NIPPERT ALLOWED MARK DEROSA TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J KENDALL ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 4
    ARIZONA 1 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: F PIE (.214, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Cubs vs. DiamondbacksAug 25 12:19 AM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ARAMIS RAMIREZ SCORED JACQUE JONES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3
    ARIZONA 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: C FLOYD (.291, 1-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. DiamondbacksAug 24 11:10 PM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MICAH OWINGS (4) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    3RD OFF SEAN MARSHALL.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 2, ARIZONA 1
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: C YOUNG (.236, 0-FOR-1)

    Cubs vs. DiamondbacksAug 24 10:31 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 2 2 3 0
    ARIZONA 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CHN - SEAN MARSHALL
    ARI - MICAH OWINGS

    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: C YOUNG (.237, 26 HR, 47 RBI)
    O HUDSON (.303, 10 HR, 62 RBI)
    E BYRNES (.300, 18 HR, 71 RBI)

    Cubs vs. DiamondbacksAug 24 10:02 PM