MIAMI -- The Miami Marlins did not score after the third inning. They didn't need to, thanks to a big effort by their bullpen.
With an early lead, starter Ricky Nolasco settled down and five relievers combined to throw 3 2/3 perfect innings that finished a three-game sweep of the Cubs with a 5-3 win Thursday and sent Chicago to its fifth straight loss."Every championship team has a great bullpen and I think we do," said Marlins closer Heath Bell, who recorded his second save in four opportunities.Greg Dobbs hit a two-run double for Miami, which has won five of six. Hanley Ramirez and Logan Morrison each had two hits and Emilio Bonifacio stole two bases."Right now they are putting it together," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said.An announced attendance of 23,168 saw the Marlins complete their first home series sweep against the Cubs since September 2007 and improve to 5-2 in their new ballpark."It was pretty cool," Dobbs said of the afternoon crowd. "This is a beautiful park. It's pretty breathtaking. Our goal is to play winning baseball. If we win, they will come. It's a rebirth, new name, new stadium, new players. This stadium is very, very special."Nolasco (2-0) went 5 1/3 innings for the victory, allowing three runs."I didn't go as deep as I would have liked," Nolasco said.Nolasco was shaky early on as the Cubs left six on base through the first three innings. He settled down before being lifted in the sixth for Mike Dunn following an error by shortstop Jose Reyes.Ryan Webb, Randy Choate, and Edward Mujica contributed to the bullpen's success."(The bullpen) is what makes a good manager or a bad manager," Guillen said. "Today I am a genius."Jeff Samardzija (2-1) was tagged for five runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings."I didn't feel it was control issues, I just felt I wasn't attacking the zone enough," Samardzija said.Miami jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first. A walk and steal by Bonifacio and a single by Ramirez set up Morrison's RBI single, and another run scored on a groundout by Giancarlo Stanton.Chicago responded in the second with a bases-loaded triple by Darwin Barney down the right-field line."Barney came up with a huge hit," Cubs manager Dale Sveum. "We just couldn't capitalize other times."Dobbs' two-run double in the third off Samardzija gave the Marlins a 4-3 lead. After a two-out intentional walk, Nolasco helped himself with an RBI single.
Ramirez is hitting .550 (11 for 20) with three home runs and nine RBIs in his last five games. ... Marlins 2B Omar Infante (groin) remained sidelined for the second straight game and remains day to day. ... Because of a computer problem in a ticket office near third base, the Marlins were unable to process any sales for about 15 minutes, so 150 fans were admitted free. ... The Marlins are averaging 29,442 fans at home. Said Bell: "It's unusual for us to have a lot of fans, but we've never had a beautiful ballpark like this." ... Cubs SS Starlin Castro has reached base safely in 52 of his last 53 games. ... Miami will travel to Washington for a three-game weekend series and will send RHP Carlos Zambrano (0-0, 3.75 ERA) to the mound to face LHP Ross Detwiler (1-0, 0.90). Zambrano is 8-3 with a 3.35 ERA in his career against the Nationals. ... RHP Chris Volstad (0-1, 4.91) will take the mound Friday for the Cubs in a three-game series against the Reds, who will counter with RHP Homer Bailey (0-2, 5.40). Volstad is looking to snap a 13-game winless start streak dating to last July 17.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 19: Fans watch during batting practice before a game against the Chicago Cubs at Marlins Park on...