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06/01/09 1:13 PM ET
Dodgers knock around Marshall in finale
Cubs unable to recover after southpaw allows five in first
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Sean Marshall's outing was over almost before it started. Marshall had given up five runs in a game once this season, but they were spread out over seven innings. On Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers scored five in the first en route to an 8-2 victory over the Cubs to split the four-game series. Marshall (3-4) stayed in the game for 4 1/3 innings, and served up eight runs on eight hits in his shortest start of the year. The left-hander, who will most likely end up in the bullpen once Rich Harden returns, struck out two. "They put some good at-bats together and put the bat on the ball," Marshall said. "Unfortunately for myself and the team, the balls found some holes. "For me, it was a battle, and hopefully I'll learn from this one and get a good start next time," Marshall said. Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he didn't see enough breaking pitches from Marshall in the first. "He's got to use all his pitches," Piniella said. "I threw a couple," Marshall said. "Usually, it's a pitch I use to get out of jams with. I almost didn't get a chance like an 0-2 count or 0-1 count where I could use it. I fell behind batters. It was unfortunate to get a loss and put the team in a hole early." Marshall, who was used as a swing man last season, is aware his role could change. Harden, on the disabled list with a strained back, was to throw off the mound Tuesday for the first time since May 18. There's no timetable for his return. "If that's what happens when Rich Harden gets healthy, then that's the way it is," Marshall said. "I'll do my best effort each time I have the ball. Hopefully, he's close and we'll get him back soon." Reed Johnson will hate to see the Dodgers go. The center fielder, who started against the three L.A. left-handers, went 8-for-12 in the series, including a one-out, two-run double in the sixth off Eric Milton (2-0). Johnson has eight RBIs with the bases loaded this season, and is batting .393 in those situations. "He really is playing well," Piniella said of Johnson, who has been sharing time with left-handed-hitting Kosuke Fukudome. "We'll see what we do. He's obviously making a statement and wants to play a little more than he has been." "Honestly, I'm just letting all the preparation that I've done in the cage speak for itself," Johnson said. "I'm trying to go up every at-bat or every swing with confidence and trying to get a mistake to hit. Whether I'm coming off the bench or leading off an inning, whether I have the bases loaded late in the game with the game on the line, I'm trying to stay relaxed and get mistakes up out over the plate and that's why I've had good results lately. "If it leads to more playing time, great. If not, I'll take the same confident approach off the bench." The first five Dodgers each rapped a single off Marshall, and each scored. Orlando Hudson and James Loney hit RBI singles, and one out later, Mark Loretta hit a two-run double. Jamie Hoffmann added a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0. Kemp smacked a solo homer with two outs in the third and Loney added a RBI double in the fifth, which chased Marshall. The game was one Jason Waddell will remember. The rookie lefty made his Major League debut for the Cubs in the sixth inning, and struck out the first two batters he faced. "I'm officially a big leaguer now," Waddell said. "It's in the books." The Cubs will be counting on him and others as they begin a nine-game, three-city trip, starting in Atlanta on Tuesday. Chicago is 9-14 on the road so far this season. "For us right now, it's always urgent," Ryan Theriot said. "You always want to win today. You can never wait for somebody to come back. Myself and a lot of players in here feel every game's a playoff game. And really it is. That's the type of urgency we have and when we get guys back, hopefully it will make us a better team. We have what we have and it's good enough."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.