Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Cubs [Print without images]

Sunday, March 6, 2011
Dempster pleased with four quick innings

By Melissa Isaacson

MESA, Ariz. -- Ryan Dempster said he accomplished what he wanted to in the Cubs’ 5-3 victory over the Dodgers on Sunday, getting out of his four-inning start with a minimum of work.

Dempster faced 15 batters, allowing one earned run on three hits with three strikeouts and no walks in the eventual 10-inning affair, which was sealed by a two-run walkoff homer by Cubs’ minor-league infielder DJ LeMahieu.

“I didn’t have a whole bunch of pitches, which is kind of what I’m trying to work to do,” Dempster said. “Get the pitch count down during innings, try to get them out in three pitches or less. It doesn’t always work that way but I’m trying.

“It was a good work day. It was fun out there.”

Marmol solid: Carlos Marmol has not allowed a run in three outings this spring. He threw one inning of hitless relief Sunday, walking one and striking out three.

“I feel very good, especially with my fastball,” said Marmol, before cracking, “I’m working on a slider, did you see?”

Asked if he felt content with his contract and the closer’s job settled, Marmol said it didn’t matter.

“I’m not worried about that,” he said. “I was ready for the regular season and I don’t worry about money or anything else.”

Pausing for effect, he added, “When am I going to get another contract, man?”

Byrd hot: Marlon Byrd doubled twice for the second day in a row and had his fourth multi-hit day in six games.

Byrd, 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, is now 8-of-15, which should move him up the list of Cactus League hitters, where he ranked sixth coming into the game.

Split-squad: In the other game, the Reds trounced the Cubs, 10-0. Losing pitcher Todd Wellemeyer threw two innings, allowing one earned run on three hits while striking out two and walking one.