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Friday, July 15, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 2, Marlins 1

By Bruce Levine

CHICAGO -- Here's a quick look at the Cubs' 2-1 victory over the Florida Marlins on Friday:

How it happened: Ryan Dempster shut out the Marlins through eight innings and was allowed to extend his pitch count after manager Mike Quade limited him to 87 pitches in a five-inning stint on Saturday in Pittsburgh that ended with a shouting match in the dugout. The Cubs scored two unearned runs in the fourth inning when Marlins second baseman Omar Infante and right fielder Mike Stanton let an Alfonso Soriano popup fall between them, scoring Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd. Infante was charged with an error. Ricky Nolasco was the hard-luck loser, pitching seven innings, allowing no earned runs.

What it means: The Cubs won their first game of the break and have a chance at having a two-game win streak for the ninth time this season. They are the only team in baseball without a three-game win streak.

Outside the box: After contemplating giving struggling closer Carlos Marmol a day off, Quade turned to Marmol in the ninth inning again with another 2-0 lead. A night after surrendering five runs in the ninth inning and blowing a 2-0 Cubs' lead in a 6-3 loss, Marmol walked leadoff hitter Infante, who scored on a Logan Morrison single to cut the Cubs' lead to 2-1. Sean Marshall got the final out to record his second save.

Next: The Cubs continue their series at 12:05 p.m. Saturday with Carlos Zambrano (6-4, 4.34) opposing Javier Vazquez (5-8 5.23).