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Marlins' Penny suffers tough loss against Cubs

MIAMI (AP) -- Kerry Wood threw a three-hitter to beat the Florida
Marlins earlier this month, and in the rematch he pitched even
better.

Allowing just two hits, Wood outdueled Brad Penny to help the
Chicago Cubs win 1-0 Saturday night.

The complete game was Wood's third this season, and his second
in a row -- both against the Marlins. He beat them 5-1 on July 9.

"He's nasty," Florida's Derrek Lee said. "When he's on his
game like that, you've got to scratch for a run."

The Cubs scratched out their only run, which was unearned and
came home on Alex Gonzalez's sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.

On a muggy, 83-degree evening, Wood threw 130 pitches, then
spent 20 minutes in the training room recovering. He described his
condition in single-word sentences.

"Tired. Beat. Drained. Dizzy," he said. "I was running on
fumes at the end."

Wood (10-6) said he perspired so much he struggled to grip the
ball.

"Sweat kept rolling off my hand," he said. "I had to go to
the resin bag a lot. It got to the point where I just caked the
stuff on there, figuring if I put enough on it, something would
stick."

The shutout was his first since May 7, 2002, against St. Louis.
He's 4-0 lifetime against Florida with a 2.08 ERA.

Wood struck out eight to increase his season total to 164, most
in the major leagues. He walked five and hitting a batter.

"He was just wild enough to be effective," Florida's Juan
Pierre said. "He was out of the zone enough that you couldn't get
a rhythm on him."

Penny (8-7) allowed four hits, struck out eight and walked one
in eight innings. But the crowd of 30,432 -- third-largest of the
season for Florida -- had little else to cheer about.

"Brad Penny pitched well," Wood said. "He had great stuff,
and it's too bad that he had to lose."

Penny said he took the mound knowing he had to be sharp because
he was matched against Wood.

"You can't give up ... one run, I guess," Penny said with a
chuckle.

The Cubs, who began the night below .500 for the first time this
season, didn't have a baserunner until Moises Alou doubled leading
off the fifth. He took third when shortstop Alex Gonzalez booted a
grounder, then scored an unearned run on a sacrifice fly to shallow
center by the Cubs' Gonzalez.

The only other hit in the first five innings was by Florida's
Ivan Rodriguez, who doubled with two outs in the first.

The victory improved the mood of Cubs manager Dusty Baker, who
was mad at his team's performance in a 6-0 loss Friday.

"We didn't do a lot, didn't hit a lot, but we won, and that's
one that we needed," he said.

Cubs backup catcher Paul Bako came off the bench in the sixth
and promptly threw out Pierre and Luis Castillo back-to-back trying
to steal.

"It was a warm and humid night. It wasn't too tough to get
loose," Bako said. "Back in Chicago, I don't know how well that
would have turned out."

Pierre, who leads the major leagues with 45 stolen bases, led
off the sixth with a single but was thrown out on a hit and run
when the Cubs pitched out. Castillo then walked and was also thrown
out.

"When you're not getting any hits, you try to make things
happen," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. "We tried and it
didn't work."

Bako replaced Damian Miller, who departed with a sore chest
after being hit by a foul tip in the fifth.

There were other defensive gems by the Cubs. Alou made a running
catch in left field to rob Lee of an extra-base hit in the seventh,
and Wood picked Pierre off first in the first.

Game notes
Miller underwent X-rays, which were negative, and his
status is day to day. "The way that ball hit him, you think it's
going to be a cracked rib or something," Baker said. "I'm glad
he's going to be OK." ... Chicago's Mark Grudzielanek went
0-for-4, ending his 10-game hitting streak. ... Sammy Sosa also
went 0-for-4, ending his seven-game hitting streak. ... The Marlins
have allowed nine runs in their past nine home games. ... Wood has
hit 12 batters to lead the majors. ... Lee's home run Friday for
Florida was his fifth at home this season. He has 15 on the road.