Cubs 13, Marlins 3

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, September 19, 2010

Heroes: Jeff Baker (4-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI) and Welington Castillo (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI) led the Cubs' 10-hit attack. It was the first major league home run for Castillo, a 23-year-old rookie catcher.

Goat: Blake DeWitt, who was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, was the only Cubs player with more than one plate appearance who did not reach base.

Key Plays: Baker, Micah Hoffpauir, and Tyler Colvin drew consecutive bases-loaded walks against reliever Brett Sinkbeil during a six-run second inning. The Cubs sent 12 men to the plate, drew six walks, and three hits in the inning.

Comments: The Cubs (68-81) used a patchwork lineup to complete an 8-1 road trip and finish with the highest winning percentage (.889) on a completed road trip in franchise history. It was their sixth straight win and 16th in 23 games under the direction of interim manager Mike Quade. Missing from the lineup were Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Marlon Byrd, Xavier Nady, Geovany Soto, and Starlin Castro.

Colvin, while on third base in the second inning, was impaled by the sharp end of Castillo's bat as the rookie catcher doubled. Colvin scored but was replaced in the bottom of the inning and taken to a hospital for medical treatment and tests. The splintered bat penetrated Colvin's left side near the collarbone. A team spokesman said that Colvin - who finished his rookie season with a .254 average, 20 homers, and 54 RBI - will likely be shut down for the remainder of the campaign.

Soto also will be shut down for the rest of the season and will undergo arthroscopic shoulder surgery Monday. Soto had a nice bounce-back year, hitting .280 with with 17 homers and 53 RBI. His .890 OPS was second only to Joe Mauer among major league catchers.

Jeff Samardzija (2-1) turned in his second straight solid start, allowing three runs - all earned - on three hits in six innings while striking out four and walking three. Samardzija allowed home runs to Dan Uggla and Hector Luna.

Next: Pennant race baseball comes to Wrigley Field for the last time this season when the first-place San Francisco Giants (84-66) open a three-game series at Wrigley Field on Tuesday (CSN, 7:05 p.m.). The Giants, with 12 games to play, lead second-place San Diego by a half-game and third-place Colorado by 1.5 games.

The series opener features a dandy pitching matchup with two of the major leagues' hottest pitchers. San Francisco will start right-hander Matt Cain (12-10, 3.08 ERA) while the Cubs counter with the resurgent Carlos Zambrano (9-6, 3.75).

Cain, who has surpassed 200 innings pitched for the fourth straight season, is 6-2 with a 2.71 ERA since the All-Star break.

Zambrano is 6-0 with a 1.59 ERA in eight starts since returning to the starting rotation on Aug. 9.

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