Cubs
Marlins
6 - 5 Final
  for this game

Ward rips pinch-hit homer as Cubs edge Marlins

Aug 16, 2008 - 5:35 AM By Christopher Stock PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MIAMI (Ticker) -- Pinch hitter Daryle Ward belted a three-run homer in the ninth inning to lead the Chicago Cubs to their ninth straight road win, a 6-5 comeback victory over the Florida Marlins on Friday.

Mark DeRosa added a two-run shot for National League Central-leading Chicago (75-47), which increased its lead to 5 1/2 games games over Milwaukee (70-53). The Brewers lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. Meanwhile, the Marlins (63-60) fell 3 1/2 games behind the New York Mets (66-56) in the National League East.

The Cubs trailed, 5-3, heading into the decisive ninth.

Ward batted for pitcher Chad Gaudin with one out after Florida closer Kevin Gregg (6-5) walked DeRosa and gave up a one-out single by Reed Johnson. Ward smashed a 94 mile-per-hour fastball over the right field wall for his 11th career pinch home run.

"I knew he was going to come after me," Ward said. "He's got a good fastball. I took the first one right down the middle and I was thinking that was it. (The next pitch) I just picked up his release spot early, it was another fastball, took a good hack, and connected. It felt great after that."

Gaudin (9-4) picked up the win after pitching two scoreless innings. Kerry Wood worked the ninth for his 25th save for the Cubs, who have won 15 of their last 18.

"Gaudin did a nice job pitching two innings to keep us in the game and Kerry finished it out," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "(Kerry) threw a lot of pitches and it was his third day in a row. Saturday, we'll use (Carlos) Marmol in the closer's spot if we need to."

The blown save by Gregg - his seventh in 32 opportunities- spoiled a solid start by Josh Johnson, who allowed three runs and matched a career high with eight strikeouts in six innings.

"You are going to think about this one," Gregg said. "J.J. came out and threw an excellent game and put us in a spot to win the ballgame. Then I screwed it up in the ninth."

"It happens to the best of them," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "That's the guy you want there in the ninth inning. If we get the lead again Saturday, he'll be out there again."

Jorge Cantu smashed a 2-2 offering from Carlos Zambrano over the left-center field wall in the third for a three-run homer- his 21st - and a 4-1 advantage. Josh Willingham tripled home a run later in the frame to extend the lead.

Chicago began its comeback in the fourth, when DeRosa belted a first-pitch fastball from Johnson for his career-high 14th homer, drawing the Cubs within 5-3.

Zambrano allowed five runs and four hits in six innings while adding an RBI single in the second.

"It's a good thing my teammates was able to win the game, believe me, I'm happy for the team," Zambrano said. "There are some things I have to correct in my mechanics."








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

    BATTERIES: CHN - CARLOS ZAMBRANO, CHAD GAUDIN (7TH), KERRY WOOD (9TH) AND
    GEOVANY SOTO
    FLA - JOSH JOHNSON, JOE NELSON (7TH), MATT LINDSTROM
    (8TH), KEVIN GREGG (9TH) AND JOHN

    Aug 15 10:05 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY DARYLE WARD (3) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 9TH OFF KEVIN GREGG SCORED MARK DEROSA AND REED JOHNSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 6, FLORIDA 5
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A SORIANO (.294, 0-FOR-4)

    Cubs 6, Marlins 5  Top 9, 0 OutsAug 15 9:45 PM
  • 32
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 22 roots

    Cubs 3, Marlins 5  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 15 8:30 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MARK DEROSA (14) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF JOSH JOHNSON SCORED GEOVANY SOTO.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3, FLORIDA 5
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M FONTENOT (.291, 1-FOR-1)

    Cubs 3, Marlins 5  Top 4, 0 OutsAug 15 8:14 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY JOSH WILLINGHAM SCORED DAN UGGLA.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, J WILLINGHAM ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    FLORIDA 5 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: C ROSS (.258, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Cubs 1, Marlins 5  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 15 8:09 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY JORGE CANTU (21) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF CARLOS ZAMBRANO SCORED JOSH JOHNSON AND HANLEY
    RAMIREZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1, FLORIDA 4
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: M JACOBS (.248, 0-FOR-1)

    Cubs 1, Marlins 4  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 15 8:04 PM
  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 10 roots

    Cubs 1, Marlins 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 15 8:01 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CODY ROSS SCORED DAN UGGLA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C ROSS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    FLORIDA 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: J BAKER (.244, 4 HR, 14 RBI)

    Cubs 1, Marlins 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsAug 15 7:45 PM


  • NL
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS ZAMBRANO SCORED MARK DEROSA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C ZAMBRANO ON FIRST, M FONTENOT ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    FLORIDA 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A SORIANO (.296, 0-FOR-1)

    Cubs 1, Marlins 0  Top 2, 0 OutsAug 15 7:38 PM