- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs broke a four-game losing streak Tuesday, getting a late-inning rally and solid if not spectacular work by their newly configured bullpen in a 6-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Pinch hitter Scott Hairston's eighth-inning sacrifice fly, gave beleaguered former closer Carlos Marmol his first win of the season. Marmol, who was demoted after blowing a save in Atlanta on Saturday, was relegated to middle relief in his last two outings.
Shortstop Starlin Castro made up for two second-inning miscues with a diving stop in the eighth, stopping the Brewers’ potential go-ahead run from scoring. Marmol had just given up a two-out triple to Jean Segura that rattled around in the right field corner and Castro’s play robbed Yuniesky Betancourt of an RBI.
“It was real important,” Castro said of the play. “(Marmol) needs confidence right now. He needed a little help.”
Kyuji Fujikawa, Marmol’s replacement at closer, notched his second consecutive save of the season.
“I was just trying to throw strikes and put out of my mind the last time I got hit hard,” Fujikawa said through his translator. “All I tried to do was get ahead on the count.”
Marmol had a better breaking ball over his past two appearances, but is still working on his fastball command.
“I feel a lot better right now,” he said. “My mechanics are a little bit better. I am getting there.”
Fujikawa appears to be the team’s closer for the near future, keeping Marmol in middle-to-late relief. Marmol has been the early-season target of the Wrigley faithful, which has booed him on a regular basis during the Cubs’ first two home games.
“I am glad they gave me a chance in this situation. At least the (fans) are happy.” Marmol said with a laugh.
1dJacob Nitzberg, ESPN Stats & Information