Wednesday, July 20, 2011
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Bullpen fails Cubs' Garza in loss to Phillies

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[July 20, 2011]  CHICAGO -- Matt Garza came through with another dominant performance for the Chicago Cubs, and just like last time, the bullpen failed him.

He's not pointing fingers or losing his cool.

"I'm pretty sure these guys aren't doing it on purpose, that they're out there and want to win just as bad as I do," he said.

Michael Martinez hit a tiebreaking two-run double with two out in the ninth inning, and the Phillies rallied to beat the Cubs 4-2 on Tuesday night.

Starlin Castro's two-run homer off Cliff Lee in the first inning held up until Philadelphia chased Garza in the eighth, and Chase Utley tied it with a two-run double against Sean Marshall.

The winning rally started when Marshall yielded a two-out single by pinch-hitter Ben Francisco. Jimmy Rollins then hit a hard smash off third baseman Aramis Ramirez's glove, putting runners on first and second, and Martinez drove them in with a bloop double down the right-field line.

Martinez got caught in a rundown off second, ending the inning, but the damage was done. The clutch hit made a winner of Michael Stutes (4-1), who pitched two scoreless innings, and Antonio Bastardo struck out the side for his seventh save in seven chances.

Marshall (5-4) gave up three runs and five hits in two innings, spoiling another outstanding start by Garza.

"He made some good pitches," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He really changed speeds on us, made some soft pitches, but at the same time he's aggressive with his fastball. He made some real good pitches against (Ryan) Howard and Utley. He pitched a real good ballgame. A solid game."

Marshall came in after Rollins led off the eighth with a single, and the game quickly unraveled for the Cubs. Martinez singled before Utley sent his tying hit into left-center.

With the infield in, Castro saved a run when he fielded Shane Victorino's one-out chopper to shortstop and fired home to nail Utley trying to score from third. Marshall struck out Raul Ibanez, but the rally handed another no-decision to Garza.

"I think he can take pride in the fact that he put us in position to win," manager Mike Quade said. "He's pitched well. The last two outings have been really good."

Garza threw seven scoreless innings in his previous start against Florida, but a ninth-inning meltdown by Carlos Marmol sent Chicago to a 6-3 loss.

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This time, the 6-foot-4 right-hander held Philadelphia to four hits and received a standing ovation when he departed with a 2-0 lead.

But Garza was more annoyed with himself than Marshall. He second-guessed himself for throwing Rollins a curveball rather than a fastball or slider.

"You've got to take that accountability," Garza said.

Lee, meanwhile, settled down after a shaky start. The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner allowed eight hits, struck out six and walked none before being lifted for pinch-hitter Ross Gload with two on and two out in the seventh.

Gload flied to center to end that threat, but the Phillies came through in the final two innings.

NOTES: Phillies All-Star Roy Halladay said he was feeling a lot better after leaving Monday's game because of the steamy conditions and expects to make his next start against San Diego. ... Philadelphia's Roy Oswalt, out with lower back inflammation, was encouraged after throwing nearly 50 pitches in a pain-free bullpen session. He hopes to return early next month. ... Reed Johnson had three hits for Chicago. ... Quade said he had "a good discussion" with Major League Baseball executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre about his criticism of the umpires following Sunday's 7-5 loss to the Florida Marlins. "The one thing that's great about having Joe, he's handling that situation and he's been on both sides of it, and he gives you an opportunity to explain. It's not just cut and dry," Quade said. He did not know if the league will discipline him. Quade went off after Sunday's game, saying the umpires made unprofessional comments to his players. He took issue in particular with one call at second base in the top of the eighth, when Florida's Brett Hayes was ruled safe on an attempted pickoff. ... With the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaching, OF Alfonso Soriano said he would prefer to stay in Chicago. "I'm not worried about it because I don't have control of that situation," Soriano said. "I just go out and make plays to try and make the team better."

[Associated Press, By Andrew Seligman]

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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