CHICAGO — Ricky Nolasco pitched seven sharp innings, and Cody Ross and Gaby Sanchez homered as the Florida Marlins defeated the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Nolasco (3-2), a former Cubs farmhand, allowed one run on five hits for the Marlins, who have won two straight after losing five of its six previous games. Nolasco, who was traded for Juan Pierre in 2005, struck out three and walked one.
Leo Nunez pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save in nine opportunities.
Chicago lost for the seventh time in eight games and tied a season high with its fourth straight loss.
Cubs starter Randy Wells (3-2) pitched eight strong innings, allowing three runs on four hits. He struck out eight and walked one.
Highly touted Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, who was called up Friday, committed his fourth error in two days and fifth of the season on pinch-hitter Wes Helms' grounder in the eighth inning.
In his last start, Wells allowed six earned runs on five hits in the shortest outing of his career in an 11-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday and he didn't fare much better early against the Marlins. In the second inning, Wells walked Dan Uggla, and with two outs, Ross hit Wells' 1-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers. It was Ross' second of the season.
With two outs in the third, Sanchez took Wells' 2-1 pitch into bleachers for his third of the season to make it 3-0.
The Marlins and reliever Chris Leroux overcame a scare in the eighth inning. Leroux walked Kosuke Fukudome with one out. Ryan Theriot moved Fukudome to third on a single to right, and Marlon Byrd's sacrifice fly made it 3-2.
Lee followed with a double to left, but Theriot was wisely held up at third. Leroux limited the damage by striking out Aramis Ramirez on a high fastball to end Chicago's threat.
Lee, who was dropped from the third spot in the order to the fourth, doubled to right after Ross misjudged the ball on the warning-track and scored Byrd from first in the sixth inning to make it 3-1.
Marlins CF Cameron Maybin made a nice running catch into the ivy-covered brick wall to rob Geovany Soto of extra bases in the fifth. Maybin was holding his left wrist after the catch, but stayed in the game after getting it looked at by the team trainer. … The Marlins won its first road series since April 13 at Philadelphia.
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