Marmol's Poor 8th Dooms Cubs in Loss to Arizona

Carlos Marmol walked off the Wrigley Field mound to a chorus of boos.

Paul Goldschmidt broke an eighth-inning tie with a grand slam off Marmol, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 12-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday night.

"I wasn't throwing strikes, I wasn't making pitches when I needed to and I got hit," Marmol said.

Marmol (2-3) had given up only one run in his previous 9 1-3 innings pitched, but failed to deliver for the Cubs in the eighth.

He started the inning by walking Willie Bloomquist, got pinch-hitter Eric Hinske to fly out, then gave up a ground-rule double to Gerardo Parra. Didi Gregorius followed with another walk and then Goldschmidt delivered the final blow, a deep drive to center field, to put the Diamondbacks up 8-4.

Marmol stuck around for one more batter, another walk, this one to Miguel Montero, before exiting after giving up four runs on two hits and three walks while recording one out. Marmol was booed heartily by the few remaining Cubs fans who stuck around after a 2-hour, 21-minute rain delay.

Carlos Villanueva, who had made eight starts this season before being moved to the bullpen, retired the one batter he faced the seventh, before giving way to Marmol to start the eighth.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum, who was ejected by home plate umpire Joe West in the second inning after arguing a close call at first base, defended bench coach Jamie Quirk's decision to go to Marmol in the eighth instead of sticking with Villanueva.

"He's our setup guy," Sveum said of Marmol. "Villanueva did his job."

The Diamondbacks scored a season-high 12 runs and had a season-high 17 hits. The Cubs bullpen gave up nine runs and 10 hits with four walks in 2 2-3 innings.

Marmol's poor performance overshadowed another strong outing from Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija, who tossed a shutout against the Chicago White Sox in his last outing, showed flashes of his dominant performance on Monday, but was pitching in and out of trouble most of the night. He allowed three runs and seven hits, while striking out 11 and walking three.

Samardzija gave up a home run to Parra on his second pitch of the game, then held the Diamondbacks to just that one run through six. With the Cubs leading 3-1, things got messy for Samardzija in the seventh. He walked Parra to lead off the inning and followed Gregorius' ground-out with another walk to Goldschmidt.

Samardzija was pulled after that. Reliever James Russell walked Martin Prado, and Jason Kubel followed with a double to clear the bases and give Arizona a 4-3 lead.

"They're a fastball-hitting team, they're really aggressive," Samardzija said. "I knew they were on it, especially after Parra's first at-bat, so I started making better pitches. Used my slider to get ahead in the count and kind of got back on track there. Splitter was good. Just avoid those walks in the seventh."

The Cubs gave Samardzija an early lead after loading the bases with no outs in the first. David DeJesus scored on Alfonso Soriano's sacrifice fly, then Nate Schierholtz hit an RBI double down the right-field line. Anthony Rizzo scored on Welington Castillo's grounder to put the Cubs ahead 3-1 off Arizona starter Ian Kennedy.

Kennedy (3-3) was nearly unhittable after that, retiring 20 of the final 21 batters he faced, his only blemish during the stretch being Schierholtz's solo home run in the seventh. Kennedy tossed seven solid innings, giving up four runs and three hits to help end Chicago's five-game winning streak.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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