Braves 5, Cubs 3

By Chris Rewers on Friday, August 20, 2010

Hero: Ryan Dempster turned in perhaps his best performance of the season in an unsuccessful attempt to win his fourth straight start. Dempster allowed two runs - both earned - on four hits over eight innings while walking two and striking out seven.

Goat: Carlos Marmol (2-3) blew his fifth save opportunity of the season. Marmol entered to start the ninth with the Cubs clinging to a 3-2 lead but walked the bases loaded and struck out two before Rick Ankiel stepped to the plate.

Key Play: Ankiel lined a 2-and-2 hanging slider down the right-field line to clear the bases.

Comments: The Cubs (50-73) lost their eighth straight home game. The club record is 12 straight home losses to start the 1994 home schedule.

Derrek Lee batted cleanup for Atlanta, received a standing ovation before he batted in the first inning, and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Just wondering? Why has Koyie Hill caught 12 (all of them complete games) of the Cubs' 14 games since Geovany Soto went on the disabled list. Twenty-three-year-old Welington Castillo has appeared in just two games and had six plate appearances since being called up last week. With Hill playing every day, wouldn't it make more sense to have a Triple-A roster-filling catcher like Mark Johnson languishing on the bench?

Next: Tom Gorzelanny (6-7, 3.85 ERA) will start for the Cubs on Saturday (Fox, 3:10 p.m.) and will oppose Atlanta right-hander Tommy Hanson (8-8, 3.41).

Gorzelanny has worked six or more innings in each of his last seven starts. The left-hander has received two or fewer runs of support in 11 of his 18 starts this season.

Hanson is winless despite allowing one run or fewer in each of his last five starts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first pitcher with this distinction since earned runs were recognized as an official stat in 1913.

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