CHICAGO -- The trick for getting Carlos Marmol back to form might be to hide the scoreboard.
In his first outing since being removed from the closer’s role, Marmol did walk the leadoff man and uncork a wild pitch, but he got a ground out, a pop up and a strikeout of the left-handed hitting James Loney for a scoreless eighth inning.
That’s more than he can say for three of his last five outings when he allowed the opponent to score.
Not pitching in the ninth inning with the game on the line seemed to make a difference for the shaky right-hander. Perhaps it was that and the fact that he is finally listening to the coaching staff.
“He threw his fastball and threw it for strikes,” manager Dale Sveum said. “I think that was encouraging for him that he can throw his fastball a lot. He still got the strikeout on the last pitch, a slider, but sometimes that thing gets set up because of the fastballs he's throwing. He threw, I think at one time, five fastballs in a row which he doesn't do that very often.”
In other bullpen news right-hander Lendy Castillo made his first appearance since April 20 and was impressive, giving up just one hit over two scoreless innings.