Series: Game 3 of 3

Florida won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, July 31
Chi Cubs2Final
Game 2: Saturday, August 1
Chi Cubs9Final
in 10
Game 3: Sunday, August 2
Chi Cubs2Final

Cubs 2

(55-48, 22-29 away)

Marlins 3

(55-50, 29-26 home)

    5:05 PM ET, August 2, 2009

    Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida 

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    FLA 000000102 3 7 0

    W: B. Donnelly (2-0)

    L: K. Gregg (4-3)

    Back-to-back HRs from Uggla, Ross stun Gregg, Cubs in 9th

    Associated Press

    MIAMI -- Cody Ross had shaving cream caked on his collar, while Dan Uggla had the stuff dripping from his neck and earlobes.

    Fast Facts

    • The Marlins became the first team to hit back-to-back HRs in the ninth inning for a walk-off win since the Reds did so for a 7-6 victory over the Mets on April 4, 2005. Adam Dunn tied it and Joe Randa won it for New York on Opening Day in Pedro Martinez's debut with the Mets.

    • Florida also became the first team to hit back-to-back homers in the ninth for a walk-off win on consecutive pitches since June 1, 2004. That's when the Braves did so in a 7-6 victory vs. the Expos behind Nick Green and J.D. Drew.

    • The last time the Marlins hit back-to-back home runs in the ninth inning for a walk-off win was on Sept. 21, 1996. They beat the Astros 2-1 as Jeff Conine tied it and Devon White won it with consecutive shots off Billy Wagner.

    -- ESPN Stats & Information

    Back-to-back solo homers in the ninth inning to win a game -- on consecutive pitches, no less -- left the Florida Marlins in a delirious mood.

    Two outs from defeat, Uggla and Ross turned the Marlins' fortunes around with two mighty swings. Uggla tied it with his 19th homer, Ross followed with his second of the day and 17th of the year, and Florida beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Sunday to move within five games of Philadelphia for the NL East lead.

    "We've got one thing in mind," said Ross, who also made two sliding catches in center field and hit a game-ending home run for the second time in his career. "I think everyone knows what that is."

    Kevin Gregg (4-3) blew a save for the second straight night for the Cubs, his fifth failure in 26 opportunities this season. The former Florida closer retired pinch-hitter Hanley Ramirez to lead off the ninth, then fell behind 3-1 to Uggla, who settled in and waited for an off-speed offering.

    Boom! His no-doubter into the blue seats high above the left-field scoreboard tied it at 2.

    "I've seen Gregg a lot, and the last few years he's been as dominant as anybody," said Uggla, wiping away remnants of the obligatory shaving-cream-in-the-face celebration in the clubhouse.

    Uggla hadn't even caught his breath when Ross connected, and the Marlins ended their homestand with a mob scene at home plate.

    "It wasn't pretty," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "The thing finished quick."

    Brendan Donnelly (2-0) allowed his first run in 11 innings as a Marlin -- a first-pitch shot by Jake Fox leading off the ninth. It was Fox's eighth homer of the season.

    Alas, that was just the start of the late-game heroics.

    "It was two pitches," Gregg said. "Twenty-five guys put together a great effort and two pitches are why we walk out of here losing."

    Both starters were stellar while working with little run support.

    Florida's Ricky Nolasco retired the final 14 batters he faced, giving up one run and four hits in seven innings. The Cubs' Ryan Dempster, in his second start back from the disabled list, pitched six shutout innings, yielding just three hits.

    Dempster left with a 1-0 lead, which Aaron Heilman promptly wasted. Two batters into his outing, Heilman served up Ross' first homer of the day, a drive to straightaway center field.

    The Cubs went in front when Derrek Lee singled in Sam Fuld in the third. Fuld drew a one-out walk and went to second on Ryan Theriot's single, part of a three-hit day for the Cubs' shortstop.

    Nolasco was unhittable from there.

    Not only did he set down the final 14 he faced, Nolasco only let one ball escape the infield during that stretch. Nolasco, who has taken the loss just once in his last 10 starts, lowered his ERA to 5.00, nearly half from what it was May 22 (a season-worst 9.07).

    "It all starts with starting pitching," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Ricky Nolasco was outstanding today. And to go back-to-back there in the ninth inning was something special, against a pretty good closer."

    Game notes

    Ramirez, the Marlins' shortstop and NL batting leader, was out of the starting lineup because of a bruised left knee sustained when he was hit by a pitch Saturday. ... Chicago is 3-33 when scoring two runs or less this season. ... Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez was held out after getting hit on the left forearm Saturday. He said he'll try to play Monday at Cincinnati. ... Marlins C John Baker extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Game Information

    StadiumSun Life Stadium, Miami, FL
    Attendance25,969 (67.3% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time2:34
    Weather90 degrees, clear
    Wind13 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Wally Bell, First Base - Chad Fairchild, Second Base - John Hirschbeck, Third Base - Marty Foster