Game Ninety-Five – Cubs 6 Diamondbacks 2
WP – Jason Marquis (7-5) LP – Brandon Webb (8-8) Save – None
With Cliff Floyd unavailable, Daryle Ward on the DL and Derrek Lee serving the third game of his five game suspension, Lou Piniella used more of a Cactus League-type lineup than one usually seen during the regular season. But once again, Piniella pulled the right strings and got the desired result. Mike Fontenot had a great day hitting in the 3-hole. He was 2-for-3 with a walk, 2 stolen bases and 3 runs scored while Jacque Jones reached base three times and was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI’s, including the game winner. Jones has 5 RBI’s in the last 3 games and both on Friday afternoon came with 2 outs. Aramis Ramirez had another huge day as well. Ramirez drove in Fontenot with the tying run and scored the go ahead run on Jones’ RBI in the 6th. Ramirez hit his first home run since his walk-off against the Brewers. His 16th of the year was a 3-run shot to left in the 8th inning that gave Piniella’s makeshift crew some much-needed breathing room.
Jason Marquis threw a gem. He allowed just 2 runs on 4 hits in 7 2/3 innings, his longest and clearly his best outing since May 9th. Carlos Marmol and Bobby Howry retired the last four batters they faced to preserve the win. Alfonso Soriano helped Marquis’ cause in the 2nd inning with his 11th outfield assist of the season and the defense played another solid game. With the win, the Cubs are 7 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2004 season and have won 19 of their last 24. Jason Marquis threw pitch for pitch with Brandon Webb and handed the reigning NL Cy Young award winner his first career loss to the Cubs (Webb entered Friday 4-0 lifetime against the Cubs). Marquis made just one mistake, the 2-run home run to Chris Young in the 5th. Marquis did receive some help from the wind that was blowing in but made the pitches he needed to make. Marquis walked just one, the last batter he faced and struck out 3.
Brandon Webb recorded his 8th groundball out when Ryan Theriot made the first out of the 4th inning. Only one Cub, Jacque Jones, had reached base in 3 2/3 innings. Webb had a no-hitter and a shutout going. Mike Fontenot quickly fell behind in the count 0-2 but ended up working a walk….Webb’s first and only free pass of the day. Aramis Ramirez struck out for the second out. Jacque Jones stepped in, Fontenot stole 2nd, his 3rd steal of the year, and scored on Jones’ 2-out single to right center. Jones came through in the clutch for the third time in as many games.
Webb settled back down and retired the next 4 batters he faced while his teammates gave him the lead. With 2 outs in the 6th, Mike Fontenot singled to center, stole 2nd and scored on a single to right by Aramis Ramirez. Jeff DaVanon bobbled the ball and Ramirez took 2nd on the error. Jacque Jones came through once again. He singled to left to score Ramirez with the go-ahead and would be winning run.
The Cubs were unable to add to their lead in the 7th but Ryan Theriot singled to right center with 1-out in the 8th. Fontenot followed with a single to right and on a 1-2 pitch from Brandon Lyon, Aramis Ramirez hit a 3-run homer to left.
Scott Moore made his season debut with the big league club….he was 0-4. Jacque Jones is 7-for-his-last-12 with 2 runs scored, 2 walks and 5 RBI’s.
Friday afternoon was a good win for a Cubs lineup that featured just 5 starters that were on Lou Piniella’s Opening Day roster.
Rich Hill is scheduled to take the mound on Saturday just after high noon against Micah Owings.