Final

Series: Game 4 of 4

Series tied 2-2 (as of 9/12)

Game 1: Friday, September 10
Florida7Final
Chi Cubs0
Game 2: Friday, September 10
Florida2Final
Chi Cubs11
Game 3: Saturday, September 11
Florida2Final
Chi Cubs5
Game 4: Sunday, September 12
Florida11Final
Chi Cubs1

Marlins 11

(74-65, 37-35 away)

Cubs 1

(76-64, 40-32 home)

    2:20 PM ET, September 12, 2004

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    FLA 010402040 11 15 0
    CHC 000000100 1 6 1

    W: A. Burnett (7-6)

    L: G. Rusch (6-2)

    Marlins score 11 on 15 hits

    CHICAGO (AP) -- The Florida Marlins think they can emerge from the wild-card pack and pull out a playoff berth.

    Juan Pierre had three of Florida's 15 hits, A.J. Burnett pitched eight strong innings and the Marlins beat the Chicago Cubs 11-1 Sunday to split their crucial four-game series.

    Alex Gonzalez hit a two-run double and Paul Lo Duca added a two-run single for the Marlins, who are 2½ games behind San Francisco in a six-team race for the NL wild card. The Cubs fell a game behind the Giants for the top spot.

    "I have that feeling," Florida manager Jack McKeon said. "This race is going to be very exciting. There's no guarantees, but I feel good about how we're playing."

    Florida, which has won 11 of 14 overall, is staying in Chicago to play at least two games against Montreal at U.S. Cellular Field, home of the White Sox, beginning Monday. The games were moved from Miami because of the threat of Hurricane Ivan. The defending World Series champions will still be the home team.

    The Cubs and Marlins meet again in a makeup doubleheader Sept. 20 in Florida.

    "They beat us pretty good," Chicago manager Dusty Baker said. "They were hitting the ball all over the park."

    After entering 0-6 away from home, Burnett (7-6) took a shutout into the seventh and helped himself with two hits. He has won a career-best four straight starts and five of his last six.

    "I was just looking to win," said Burnett, who allowed one run and six hits. "I haven't gotten a road win all year. This is a good place to start."

    Burnett was injured and didn't pitch last season when the Marlins won Games 6 and 7 of the NL championship series at Wrigley Field en route to their surprising title. But he's caught on quick to Florida's recent winning ways.

    "Burnett has pitched this way the last six or seven times out," McKeon said. "He's been very important to us down this stretch. ... Our young guys have held their own in this town."

    The Marlins chased Glendon Rusch (6-2) with a four-run fourth. Rusch was starting for Matt Clement (shoulder) and came in with a 3.63 ERA as the Cubs' sixth starter.

    Rusch hit Miguel Cabrera with a pitch in the fourth and gave up a single to Mike Lowell. Conine hit an RBI double, Gonzalez a two-run double and Burnett a run-scoring single to make it 5-0, bringing boos from the Wrigley Field crowd of 38,794.

    "We love Chicago," McKeon said before the game, chomping on his customary cigar.

    Rusch gave up four earned runs, seven hits and two walks in 3 1-3 innings, his shortest start of the season.

    "I really struggled today command-wise and was constantly behind in the count," Rusch said. "Basically they were putting pressure on me in every inning and I never really got on that roll to get things going."

    Florida got two more runs in the sixth on consecutive run-scoring singles by Pierre and Luis Castillo, and four in the eighth on a two-run single by Lo Duca and RBI singles by Cabrera and Lowell.

    The Marlins took the lead in the second inning when Cabrera scored on a throwing error by Cubs left fielder Moises Alou.

    "It gets real old," Baker said, referring to his team's sloppy play. "Especially when it's happening by older guys. That's just trying to do too much. That's what I think it is."

    Chicago scored in the seventh on Todd Walker's RBI triple.

    Game notes


    Josh Beckett (7-8, 3.78 ERA) starts Monday for Florida and Ismael Valdez (12-8, 5.17) starts Tuesday." We might be here two, three, four days," McKeon said. "It depends on what Pudge does." Pudge is the nickname of ex-Marlins catcher Ivan Rodriguez. ... Cubs SS Nomar Garciaparra sat out with a groin injury, as expected. He left Saturday's game in the fifth inning when he tweaked the groin, which had been bothering him for several days. Neifi Perez replaced Garciaparra at SS and batted second. "We'll try to give him a few days off," Baker said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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