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Friday, April 26, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 4, Marlins 2

By Jesse Rogers



Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 4-2 victory over the Miami Marlins on Friday.

How it happened: Anthony Rizzo hit two two-run home runs in his first two at-bats off lefty Wade LeBlanc while Scott Feldman pitched into the seventh inning for the first time as a Cub. Rizzo hit his homers in the first and third innings with Dave Sappelt on base each time. Rizzo added a single and stolen base in the eighth. Joe Mahoney got the Marlins on the board with a solo shot in the fourth while Miami added one in the seventh with a sacrifice fly by Chris Valaika, but reliever James Russell got out of the jam. Kevin Gregg pitched a clean ninth for his second save. Darwin Barney had three hits and was on base four times in the game.

What it means: Rizzo set a Cubs record for home runs in the month of April by a lefthander, hitting No. 7 and 8 even though he only raised his average to .200 with his three hits. The fact that he has 18 RBIs considering that average is quite the feat and offsets all the strikeouts he’s incurred. The bottom line is Rizzo isn’t going to hit .200 for the season so his year can only get better and his power is already more than there. The arrow is pointing up for him even if it doesn’t seem like it all the time. Feldman threw well, getting breaking pitches over for strikes or inducing Marlin hitters to swing at some outside the zone. He threw the Cubs 14th quality start of the year in earning his first victory as a Cub. They’re now 8-14 overall.

Key stat: The Cubs played their 22nd consecutive game decided by four runs or less, setting a franchise record to start a season. It also tied the 1958 Cincinnati Reds for the fourth longest streak to start the year in baseball history. ... The Cubs won for consecutive times for the first time this season.

What’s next: Game 3 of the series on Saturday night features the Cubs' Travis Wood (1-1, 2.08 ERA) taking on the Marlins' Alex Sanabia (2-2, 5.09 ERA) in a 6:10 start.