Cubs lose as Ump blows pick off call

The Florida Marlins and Cubs were tied when Greg Dobbs came to the plate with the bases loaded and two out in the eighth inning.Dobbs wanted to make Kerry Wood throw him a strike. Wood never did, and Dobbs’ walk forced in the go-ahead run in Florida’s 7-5 victory on Sunday.After Dobbs’ four-pitch walk against Wood (1-5), Logan Morrison capped Florida’s three-run rally with a two-run single to center that made it 7-4.Aramis Ramirez hit a two-out RBI double in the bottom half but Randy Choate came in and got Carlos Pena to bounce out to end the inning. Leo Nunez allowed Marlon Byrd’s leadoff single in the ninth before retiring three straight for his 26th save.Hanley Ramirez homered during Florida’s three-run first, belting a long solo drive for his ninth of the season. John Buck hit three singles and reached four times.Four Florida pitchers retired 20 straight batters after Darwin Barney’s single in the second, the streak ending with Starlin Castro’s two-out walk against Steve Cishek in the eighth.Reed Johnson, Castro and Ramirez each doubled and scored during a Cub three-run first. Johnson added a sacrifice fly in the second.Randy Wells allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings. The right-hander has surrendered at least four runs in each of his last five starts and is winless since he beat Arizona in his first game of the season on April 4, a span of nine starts.The Marlins staked Chris Volstad to an early 3-0 lead, but the 6-foot-8 right-hander was removed for a pinch hitter in the fourth. He gave up six runs and four hits.Burke Badenhop replaced Volstad and threw three perfect innings. Edward Mujica (8-2) tossed a perfect seventh and leads the Marlins in victories.Florida won three of four in the series to improve to 14-9 under the 80-year-old McKeon. It has won 12 of 16 overall.The Marlins went ahead for good during the wild eighth that featured big time incompetent Umpiring.Mike Stanton started the inning with a strikeout but hustled to first when Wood’s fastball struck home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi in the mask and rolled back to the screen. Mike Cameron hit into a double play, but Wood hit Buck and walked pinch-hitter Wes Helms.Brett Hayes came in to run for Buck and nearly(actually WAS) was picked off second, but second base umpire Lance Barrett ruled he was safe. Cubs manager Mike Quade ran onto the field to protest and replays suggested he had reason to complain.This was a major blown call in the tradition of Don Denkinger(1985 World Series Game six).

“It’s getting tough to watch some of this,” Quade said. “I get bang-bang [plays]. I have all the respect in the world for these [umpires]. We’ve heard a lot of comments lately and I try to stay out of it, but there were a couple of calls in this series that were mind-boggling.”

Emilio Bonifacio then reached on an infield single, setting the table for Dobbs’ big at-bat.

“It was not a good series for us, but we had company,” Quade said, referring to the umpires. “And I hope that as accountable as we need to be, those guys are being accountable.”

Wells’ first-inning problems continued on Sunday. He walked leadoff hitter Bonifacio and Dobbs followed with an opposite-field homer that landed in the basket in left-center. One batter later, Ramirez launched a 3-2 pitch that nearly left Wrigley Field just a shade to the left of center. The ball landed behind the camera booth behind the batter’s eye.Wells has allowed 13 first-inning runs in 10 starts this season, including five of the 10 homers he has surrendered.The Cubs bounced back with three in the bottom half, and another run in the second. Blake DeWitt singled home Ramirez with two outs in the first, tying it at 3, and Johnson’s fly ball to center drove in Geovany Soto in the second.That was all the offense the Cubs could muster until the eighth.

NOTES—The Marlins play at New York on Monday to make up a May 17 rainout. RHP Clay Hensley will start for the first time this season. He’s been on the disabled list since June 3 with a right shoulder sprain and before that pitched out of the Florida bullpen. McKeon said Hensley won’t be on a strict pitch count and will “go as long as he can go.” … Quade said before the game that he planned to give struggling closer Carlos Marmol another day off. Marmol, who has allowed six runs and walked six batters over his last 1 2-3 innings, is working with pitching coach Mark Riggins to iron out some mechanical issues. … Bonifacio extended his career-high hitting streak to 16 games with an infield single to start the fifth. It’s the longest active streak in the major leagues.


Sox can’t hold 3-0 lead, fail to sweep Tigers

DETROIT—After watching his Detroit Tigers avoid a series sweep with a nice rally, manager Jim Leyland admitted his team has a lot to prove right now. The Tigers have developed an unpleasant habit of fading in the second half, so there was an antsy vibe around Comerica Park when they lost two straight to the White Sox immediately after the All-Star break. Carlos Guillen hit a tiebreaking RBI single in Detroit’s three-run sixth inning, leading the Tigers to a 4-3 win over the Sox on Sunday. Detroit came back from an early 3-0 deficit. The Tigers haven’t played above-.500 baseball after the All-Star break since 2000, and they dropped the first two games of this series by a combined 13-2. The Sox led 3-1 on Sunday before Victor Martinez tied it with a two-run single in the sixth. Jhonny Peralta then singled, and Guillen followed with a line drive to right field that drove in Martinez. Detroit’s Brad Penny (7-6) allowed three runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. Three relievers finished for the Tigers, with Jose Valverde working the ninth for his 25th save in 25 chances. Philip Humber (8-6) allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings for the White Sox. He struck out eight and walked one. Penny labored early on a hot afternoon, giving up three runs in the second. Alex Rios hit an RBI double, A.J. Pierzynski added a sacrifice fly and Gordon Beckham singled in a run. But Penny was able to settle down after that. He ended up throwing only 78 pitches. The first time the Tigers hosted the White Sox this season, Detroit outscored them 21-3 in a three-game sweep. The White Sox seemed ready to return the favor, but Humber ran out of steam. Brennan Boesch’s solo homer in the fourth made it 3-1, and Andy Dirks led off the Detroit sixth with a hard-hit ball that shortstop Alexei Ramirez deflected but couldn’t stop. Dirks hustled all the way to second as the ball rolled into short center field, and Magglio Ordonez walked one out later. Miguel Cabrera hit a grounder to Ramirez, but with the runners moving, they couldn’t turn a double play. Martinez came up with men on second and third and two out. His single brought home both runners when right fielder Carlos Quentin overran the ball slightly.Humber left after Peralta’s hit, and Guillen followed with a clutch base hit off Chris Sale. Quentin tried to play the ball on a short hop, but it bounced off him and went several feet away. Martinez scored easily.Al Alburquerque relieved Penny with two on and two out in the seventh and got Paul Konerko to fly out to center. Joaquin Benoit struck out two in a perfect eighth for the Tigers.Penny struck out two and walked one.

NOTES—The White Sox confirmed LHP John Danks is slated to start Wednesday night at Kansas City, although the team did not make a roster move. Danks has been on the DL with a strained right oblique….Boesch struck out three times….The temperature was 90 degrees at game time.

USA fails to hold two leads, drops World Cup Title match to Japan 3-2 in PK’s

FRANKFURT, Germany—Amid the sorrow that lingers throughout Japan, perhaps a little joy — courtesy of the determined women on its World Cup team.They beat the Americans for the title in a riveting final Sunday night, 3-1 on penalty kicks, after coming from behind twice in a 2-2 tie. The star of the shootout was feisty goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori, who made two brilliant saves in the shootout. All tournament long the teammates poignantly reminded the world they were playing for their battered country, still reeling from the devastation of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.Did they ever.They held the gleaming trophy high above their smiling faces as confetti swirled around the podium, flecking their hair with gold. This was Japan’s first appearance in the final of a major tournament, and they had not beaten the Americans in their first 25 meetings, including a pair of 2-0 losses in warm-up games a month before the World Cup. But the Nadeshiko pushed ahead, playing inspired soccer and hoping their success could provide even a small emotional lift to their nation, where nearly 23,000 people died or were reported missing. After each game, the team unfurled a banner saying, “To our Friends Around the World — Thank You for Your Support.” On Sunday, they did it before the match and afterward they had a new sign to display: Champion — the first Asian country to win this title. The Americans found it all too hard to grasp. They believed they were meant to be World Cup champions after their rocky year – needing a playoff to qualify, a loss in group play to Sweden, the epic comeback against Brazil. They simply couldn’t pull off one last thriller.While the Japanese celebrated at midfield, the Americans stood as a group and watched.

“There are really no words,” Abby Wambach said. “We were so close.” Minutes, actually.After Wambach scored in the 104th minute of overtime to give the Americans a 2-1 lead, Homare Sawa flicked in a corner kick in the 117th to tie it. It was the fifth goal of the tournament for Sawa, who was playing in her fifth World Cup. The Americans had beaten Brazil on penalty kicks in a quarterfinal, but they didn’t have the same touch Sunday. Give Kaihori credit for some of that. Shannon Boxx took the first U.S. shot, and it banged off Kaihori’s right leg as she dove. After Aya Miyama made her penalty, Carli Lloyd stepped up and sent her shot soaring over the crossbar. As the crowd gasped, Lloyd covered her mouth in dismay. Solo saved Japan’s next shot, but Kaihori made an impressive two-handed save on a shot by Tobin Heath. Solo came up with a save, and Wambach buried her penalty kick. But Japan need to make just one more, and Saki Kumagai did.

Rush clinch Central Division Title with comeback win in Dallas

Chicago Sky

DALLAS —Despite a slow start the Rush (13-4) clinched the Central Division title in front of 11,553 fans at the American Airlines Center following a 53-44 victory over the Dallas Vigilantes (11-6). The victory guarantees the Rush a home game in the first round of the playoffs.

“We understand this win is just one step towards our ultimate goal of a championship. But I am proud of the way we persevered and fought after a rough first half,” said Raterink. “It feels good to win the division.” Raterink was 19 for 29 on the night with no interceptions and six touchdown passes.The first quarter began with a quick exchange of touchdowns by both teams. The Rush offense scored after just one play with a 41-yard touchdown pass from QB JJ Raterink to WR Charles Dillon. However, the Vigilantes defense settled in and forced the Rush offense to turn the ball over on downs allowing Dallas to score 16 unanswered points. WR Reggie Gray came up big for the Rush with a key 32-yard kickoff return to jump start the Rush offense, and set up a 5-yard touchdown reception by Charles Dillon to end the quarter.Each of the Rush wide receivers scored a touchdown in the game. Gray led the pack with six receptions for 126 yards and three touchdowns. Dillon was close behind with two touchdowns and 95 receiving yards.The Vigilantes added to their lead at the start of the second quarter with a four yard touchdown run by FB Derrick Ross. But Gray answered with a 17-yard touchdown reception off of a deflected pass from Raterink. The Dallas defense held strong and forced the Rush offense to turn the ball over on downs, to set up an unsuccessful 32-yard field goal attempt by Vigilantes’ kicker,former Michigan Wolverine Remy Hamilton in the final seconds of the half.Raterink orchestrated a successful opening drive for the Rush which was capped off by an 18-yard touchdown reception by WR Derek Lee to begin the second half. Following another unsuccessful Dallas field goal attempt, the Rush offense marched down the field before scoring on a three-yard touchdown run by FB Johnie Kirton.The Vigilantes offense opened the fourth quarter with six-yard touchdown pass by QB Dan Raudabaugh after being shut down by the Rush defense in the third quarter. However, that would be the last score for the Vigilantes as the Rush went on to outscore Dallas 32-7 over the course of the second half. The Rush defense played with passion. Defensive linemen Mark Weivoda and Jeremy Geathers each recorded a sack and Jason Simpson led the defense with 7.5 tackles and two pass breakups.

The fourth quarter would be a pivital, after Dallas scored their final points of the night when Raudabaugh found Ferguson on a six-yard out for six points, the rookie receiver’s second touchdown of the game and second TD of the season. The Rush bounced back with a vengeance, though, as taking their first lead of the game with 2:28 to go in the fourth.  After the 48-yard fourth and ten touchdown pass to receiver Gray, the Rush decided to up the ante by going for two.  The successful attempt on a pitchout to Kelvin Morris put the visitors up 51-44, with 1:41 left in the game.Chris Gould’s kickoff was fumbled out of the end zone for a safety.  The onside kick attempt on the next kickoff was gobbled up by Rush jack linebacker Morris.  The recovery turned out to be the proverbial nail in the coffin for Dallas. 

“This win is definitely a testament to the resilience of our team,” said head coach Bob McMillen. “Despite being down throughout most of the game we persevered and came back to win the game. That’s all I can ask for as a coach.” 

The Rush are set to battle the Milwaukee Mustangs (6-11) next Saturday, July 23rd at the Allstate Arena for the final regular season match-up. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Chicago Time.

Jackson shut out Tigers 5-0

DETROIT—Magglio Ordonez’s groundball came right back up the middle and hit Edwin Jackson square in the back — before caroming straight to third baseman Mark Teahen, who threw to first for the out.Juan Pierre got four hits and stole two bases for the White Sox, who will try for a three-game sweep on Sunday.Jackson (6-7) allowed nine hits in his third career shutout, striking out two and walking two. It was his first complete game since June 25, 2010, when the right-hander, then with the Arizona Diamondbacks, held Tampa Bay hitless in a 1-0 win.Jackson threw 149 pitches in that game. He needed only 101 on Saturday but was feeling the effects of the 88-degree weather.Max Scherzer (10-5) allowed two runs and eight hits in eight innings. He struck out six.Carlos Quentin hit a solo home run.Jackson pitched for Detroit in 2009, then was traded to Arizona as part of a three-team deal that also brought Scherzer from the Diamondbacks to the Tigers. The White Sox acquired Jackson in the middle of last season.The Sox opened the scoring in the second when Quentin lined his 18th homer of the season over the fence in left field. The following inning, Pierre hit a one-out single, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and came home on Paul Konerko’s single.Pierre doubled and stole third in the fifth, but Scherzer worked out of that jam by getting Alexei Ramirez on a groundout and Konerko on a fly ball.The Sox squandered another chance in the seventh. With runners on second and third, Pierre lifted a fly ball to shallow right. Gordon Beckham tagged up and beat the throw home, but catcher Alex Avila immediately threw back to third, where Beckham was called out for leaving the base early.But the White Sox added three runs in the ninth off Detroit closer Jose Valverde, the last on an RBI single by Pierre. It was Pierre’s first four-hit game of the season.Ordonez’s comebacker off Jackson’s back in the first inning was the first of 18 groundball outs for the Tigers.Detroit had a few chances but could never break through. Avila flied out to left with two on in the fourth, and Carlos Guillen – playing his first game in 11 months – grounded out with runners on second and third to end the sixth.Guillen hurt his left knee last August and needed microfracture surgery. He started at second base Saturday and hit a fourth-inning single.Ordonez had a leadoff single in the eighth, but Jackson got Miguel Cabrera to hit into a force play, and Konerko made a nice pickup of Victor Martinez’s grounder at first base, starting a double play.

NOTES—The Sox have not announced a probable starter for Wednesday night’s game at Kansas City…..John Danks (strained right oblique) threw six scoreless innings in a rehab start Friday night with Triple-A Charlotte…..Adam Dunn tossed his bat aside and started toward first in the first inning, thinking he’d drawn a walk, but home plate umpire Alan Porter called the pitch a strike. Dunn came back and eventually flied out…..Detroit CF Austin Jackson sat out with a sore left wrist.

Zambrano,Cubs pounded by Marlins

The Florida Marlins had no interest in another nail-biter. Mike Stanton hit two home runs, Javier Vazquez struck out 10 and the Marlins routed the Cubs 13-3 Saturday.After a spirited ninth-inning comeback on Thursday, Florida lost 2-1 on Friday.Hanley Ramirez hit three doubles and scored three times, and Logan Morrison added a three-run homer as the Marlins won for the seventh time in eight games.Stanton got three hits and drove in four runs. He hit a leadoff homer in the fourth inning and added a three-run shot, his 20th, in the fifth that finished Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano.Zambrano (6-5) was activated from the 15-day disabled list earlier in the day. He had a rocky 4 2/3 innings, giving up eight earned runs on seven hits and four walks.It was Zambrano’s shortest outing of the season, not including his June 30 start when he left after an inning due to injury.Vazquez (6-8) went seven innings, allowing just one hit through 5 2/3 before finding trouble in the sixth.Kosuke Fukudome blooped a base hit to center and Starlin Castro reached on a slow roller down the third-base line. Aramis Ramirez then hit a three-run homer, his 16th of the year and 11th in 21 games.Now 1-2 against the Cubs this season, Vazquez gave up four hits and walked none.Vazquez had been charged with just two earned runs over his last four starts (25 1/3 innings), and watched his ERA drop almost two runs over the last month.Stanton’s homer in the fifth gave Florida an 8-0 lead. Morrison homered in the sixth off reliever Ramon Ortiz.Florida added two runs in the ninth off Jeff Samardzija. Bryan Peterson had a sacrifice fly and Brett Hayes hit an RBI double.Zambrano had been on the 15-day DL since July 1 with lower back stiffness after pitching one inning the previous day in a start against the Giants. He made a rehab start at Class A Peoria on July 8.

NOTES—With Zambrano’s activation, the Cubs optioned reliever Chris Carpenter to Iowa.  Carpenter had no decisions or saves and a 2.79 ERA in 10 relief appearances….Marlins SS Emilio Bonifacio’s eighth-inning infield single extended his hitting streak to 15 games….A day after reaching 1,000 career hits, Hanley Ramirez got a start on reaching his next milestone with his first-inning double to right. Jeff Conine is second in club history with 1,005 hits…The four-game series concludes at 1:20 p.m. Sunday with Cubs righty Randy Wells (1-3, 6.80) making his 10th start of the season and first against Florida. The Marlins send right-handed Chris Volstad (5-8, 5.40 ERA) who is 0-1 against the Cubs after a 5-1 loss on May 19 at Wrigley Field.

Sox get to Verlander for 8-2 win

DETROIT—Gavin Floyd allowed six hits into the eighth inning, outpitching Justin Verlander and leading the White Sox to an 8-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.Carlos Quentin had three hits and three RBI for the White Sox who scored four runs off Verlander in the third inning — more than the Detroit ace had allowed in any start since May 24.Verlander (12-5) threw six innings, his shortest outing since that same date.Floyd (7-9) allowed two runs — one earned — and struck out five in 7 2/3 innings. He walked one.Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer for Detroit in the fourth, and later added a single for his 1,500th career hit.Verlander allowed five runs — four earned — on seven hits. He walked two and struck out six. The night began like most of Verlander’s recent starts. He retired the first seven White Sox, striking out three.Gordon Beckham lined a single to left field, giving the Sox their first baserunner. Mark Teahen followed with a single up the middle and Juan Pierre bunted toward first base for a hit, driving in a run.Two batters later, with the bases loaded, Adam Dunn pulled a grounder through an infield shift into right field for a two-run single.Quentin’s RBI single made it 4-0.The White Sox improved to 9-16 against AL Central opponents this season. Detroit is 18-9 within the division, a big reason why the Tigers entered the night in a virtual tie for first with Cleveland.Detroit is a game behind now. The White Sox trail the Indians by five.Detroit scored two runs in the fourth when Magglio Ordonez struck out but reached on a passed ball, and Cabrera followed with his 19th homer of the season.The Spx scored in the fifth when Pierre reached on an error by second baseman Ryan Raburn, went to third on a double by Alexei Ramirez and scored on a grounder by Quentin.Quentin made it 6-2 with an RBI single in the seventh, and Beckham added a two-run single later in the inning.Detroit finally knocked Floyd out of the game with two out in the eighth. Brian Bruney came on and faced one batter, walking Cabrera to load the bases before Will Ohman struck out Victor Martinez to end the threat.

NOTES—The White Sox snapped a six-game losing streak at Detroit.. Cabrera received a nice ovation from the sellout crowd at Comerica Park after hit No. 1,500. He took off his helmet at first base to acknowledge the fans.. Tigers manager Jim Leyland started Don Kelly at 3B in place of the struggling Brandon Inge, who entered the game with a .184 average. Inge pinch-hit in the ninth and flied out to deep right.. Detroit CF Austin Jackson was a late scratch because of left wrist soreness.

Dempster out pitches Nolasco.Cubs edge Marlins 2-1

Carlos Marmol was back on the mound trying to close this one out, and once again, he came up short. The Cubs did not.Ryan Dempster pitched four-hit ball over eight scoreless innings, and the Cubs overcame another shaky performance by its closer to beat Florida 2-1 Friday, snapping the Marlins’ season-high, six-game winning streak.Dempster (7-6) struck out nine without a walk in probably his best outing of the season as the Cubs won for the third time in nine games, but the focus again centered on Marmol.Right now, that part isn’t working.After the closer’s ninth-inning meltdown Thursday, Quade had said he wasn’t sure he would use Marmol in a save situation, but he did after talking to the pitcher, coaches and management before Friday’s game.That backfired when they turned to Marmol in the ninth Friday and he again didn’t make it out of the inning. Sean Marshall got out of the jam and will close for the next few days.Marmol came in to boos on the heels of a miserable performance in which he walked four of the five batters he faced and failed to record an out. The Marlins scored six in the ninth to win that one 6-3 and they nearly pulled off another comeback Friday.Marmol’s latest troubles began when he walked Omar Infante on four pitches to start the inning.He caught a break with one out when center fielder Marlon Byrd threw out Hanley Ramirez trying to stretch a single into a double.Quade would have lifted Marmol then had Ramirez not been thrown out. Instead, he watched as Logan Morrison lined an RBI single to right, cutting Florida’s deficit to 2-1.Marshall relieved Marmol and struck out Mike Stanton to end the game, giving him two saves in four chances.He insisted the problems are mechanical, not mental, and that he still has his confidence. What he doesn’t have is his control or patience from the fan base.The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning when Infante misplayed Alfonso Soriano’s pop fly to second base, allowing Carlos Pena and Byrd to score.That was just enough for Dempster and the Cubs.Ricky Nolasco (6-6) pitched about as well as Dempster but took a tough loss.Nolasco allowed two unearned runs and seven hits, and struck out seven and walked one in seven innings. It was another strong performance following his complete-game win over Houston on Saturday. He also doubled off the wall with two outs in the third, but the Marlins couldn’t do much against Dempster.Nolasco ran into trouble in the fourth when Pena singled with one out and Byrd doubled, but he struck out Geovany Soto and should have gotten out of the inning when Soriano popped up.Infante raced out toward right field, and slowed as Stanton came in. The ball appeared to tip his glove and fell in for an error, allowing both runners to score.McKeon said it was an easy play for Stanton and he should have made that catch.

NOTES—The Cubs agreed to a minor league deal with veteran pitcher Dave Bush….Cubs first base coach Bob Dernier missed the game to attend his son’s wedding in Kansas City. He is expected back Sunday. Dave Keller, special assistant to Quade, filled in.


Marmol walks 4,gives up 5 in ninth as Marlins beat Cubs

Carlos Marmol sometimes “walks the Ballpark”. THIS was one of those nights.The Florida Marlins are nowhere near contention in the NL East. That doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy this run. Pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs delivered a two-run double against closer Marmol, and the Florida Marlins scored six times in the ninth inning to rally for a 6-3 victory over the Cubs on Thursday night that extended their season-high winning streak to six games. The Marlins trailed 2-0 before sending 11 batters to the plate in their final at-bat while pulling out a dramatic victory.Matt Garza threw seven scoreless innings and Sean Marshall worked the eighth, but Marmol (2-3) unraveled while picking up his seventh blown save opportunity in 26 chances.He walked Mike Stanton, Mike Cameron and John Buck, throwing just one strike in the process, and Dobbs — batting in the pitcher’s spot — followed with a double into the right-field corner.Dewayne Wise, running for Buck, slipped between third and home but scored anyway when second baseman Darwin Barney’s relay bounced past catcher Geovany Soto for a throwing error that gave Florida a 3-2 lead. Marmol then walked Emilio Bonifacio before being pulled for Kerry Wood, who walked Omar Infante to load the bases again and allowed a sacrifice fly by Gaby Sanchez and run-scoring single by Hanley Ramirez.James Russell retired Logan Morrison on a grounder and intentionally walked Stanton. Cameron responded with an RBI single to make it 6-2 and Ramirez was thrown out trying to score, ending the inning.The right-hander faced five batters Thursday night and failed to record an out. He walked four and was charged with five runs, hiking his ERA from 2.57 to 3.64. It’s the sort of performance that could cost a closer his job, but manager Mike Quade is not leaning in that direction. The big rally handed a win to Edward Mujica (7-2), who recorded the final out in the eighth.Leo Nunez allowed a run in the bottom half on Brett Hayes’ passed ball, but struck out pinch-hitter Reed Johnson and Kosuke Fukudome with a runner on third to end the game.The Cubs looked like as if were in good shape, getting a solo homer from Marlon Byrd in the second and tacking on another run in the seventh, when they chased Anibal Sanchez and Steve Cishek hit Barney with the bases loaded.Garza was simply terrific, allowing six hits and striking out six after lasting just two innings in his previous start against Washington. Sanchez yielded two runs and four hits while striking out six and walking one in 6 1/3 innings. The Cubs were ahead 1-0 when Alfonso Soriano singled in the seventh to drive Sanchez out of the game. Soto greeted Cishek with a base hit, and the right-hander plunked Barney with his next pitch to bring in Carlos Pena. Eventually, though, the Marlins pulled it out.

NOTES—Quade had a chance to talk things over with Ryan Dempster, who will start Friday. Dempster got in shouting match with his manager Saturday at Pittsburgh when he was pulled after five innings. “Everything is fantastic,” Quade said. “I was going to tell you about the conversation I had with my girlfriend last night, too, but that’s off limits as well.”

Fielder blast leads NL past AL 5-1. Castro,Konerko,Quentin go a combined 0-4

PHOENIX — Prince Fielder’s three-run homer sailed over the left-field wall at Chase Field, and the conveyor belt from the National League bullpen began.One after another, a hard-throwing pitcher walked to the mound — well, one of them sprinted and slid into the infield feet first — and then shut down the American League’s hitters for the second straight year.With pitching, speed and a little bit of power from the Prince, the NL is king of the All-Star Game once again, using the same formula that worked during its dominating run in the 1970s and ’80s.Roy Halladay combined with nine relievers on a six-hitter in the NL’s 5-1 victory Tuesday night, giving the senior circuit its first two-game winning streak since the mid-1990s.Brian Wilson got two outs for manager Bruce Bochy and earned the save, just as he did for the Giants skipper when San Francisco won the championship last November.The NL claimed home-field advantage in the World Series, its only blemish being Adrian Gonzalez homer in the fourth off Cliff Lee. Fielder connected in the bottom half of the inning.With several big names as no-shows, the AL lost more than the game.Boston right-hander Josh Beckett warmed up, then bowed out with a sore knee. Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera left after hurting the oblique muscle in his side while swinging.Even before they were hurt, many stars were missing. Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, CC Sabathia and other aces who started Sunday were ineligible, Alex Rodriguez was among those on the disabled list and Derek Jeter wanted a break. In all, 16 of 84 All-Stars dropped out.Tyler Clippard got the win despite allowing a single to his only batter, Adrian Beltre. Clayton Kershaw, Jair Jurrjens, Craig Kimbrel, Jonny Venters, Joel Hanrahan also relieved and combined to keep the NL ahead.Fielder won the MVP award after becoming the first Brewers player to homer in an All-Star Game. The World Series edge could help him later, with Milwaukee and St. Louis tied for the Central lead at the break.

“That was part of the message, how important it was for us, and how important the game was: Do it again for the National League champion,” Bochy said.

Fielder, son of former All-Star Cecil Fielder, was booed during the Home Run Derby a day earlier. He was the NL captain for the Derby, and local fans were angry he didn’t select Arizona’s Justin Upton.Andre Ethier singled in a run off rookie reliever Jordan Walden in the fifth, and slimmed-down Pablo Sandoval had an RBI double off Brandon League in the seventh.The NL dashed around the bases and swiped three bags, all in one inning and two by the Cubs  Starlin Castro. In all, the Nationals have enjoyed their best run since taking three in a row from 1994-96 — they had lost 12 straight games played to a decision before a 3-1 victory at Anaheim last year.Before a crowd of 47,994 that included Muhammad Ali, this was no desert classic — except for fans of pitching, which has become resurgent as the Steroids Era has receded. Scoring in the first half dropped to its lowest level in 19 years and the major league batting average shrunk to its smallest midseason figure since 1985.The All-Star homers were the first since J.D. Drew connected at Yankee Stadium three years ago. The AL finished with six hits for the second straight year and its two-year total of two runs is its lowest since 1995-96.Given the temperature outside, the theme song could have been Buster Poindexter’s Hot Hot Hot. And except for Lee, that’s what the NL pitching was.Texas’ C.J. Wilson, the fourth AL pitcher, took the loss for the team run by his manager, Washington. Wilson had trouble with the unfamiliar role of late: coming out of the ‘pen.

“It is a complete circus. You don’t have a routine at all,” he said. “The ball launches here.”

Outside in the 99-degree heat, two separate groups opposed to Arizona’s controversial immigration law protested outside before the game. One quietly passed out white ribbons that symbolized peace and unity and the other loudly chanting in bullhorns and marching in circles with signs that read “Boycott hate” and “Stand with us.”  However, there was little sign of the ribbons in the stands. While it was hot outside in the Sonoran Desert, it was a comfy 72 thanks to an 8,000-ton cooling system in the ballpark.Halladay and Lee showed the strength that has given Philadelphia the best record in the majors, Halladay retired six straight batters — the first to do that in an All-Star Game since Roger Clemens in 2001. Lee got out his first five.Gonzalez, who switched leagues in the offseason by going from San Diego to Boston, lined an 86 mph cutter just to the right-field side of the swimming pool, where women in bikinis and a man in a Santa Claus outfit were watching.Carlos Beltran singled to shortstop leading off the bottom half and Matt Kemp singled before Fielder gave the NL a 3-1 lead by hitting an 88 mph cutter the opposite way to left-center on a 2-2 count. The drive gave every major league team except the Diamondbacks at least one All-Star home run.

NOTES—Castro had two stolen bases and struck out.He also comitted an error on a grounder by Quentin in the ninth inning. Carlos Quentin fouled to first and was 0-2.Paul Konerko reached on a walk in the 7th,and grounded to Castro in the 9th to end the game….There was a moment of silence before the game for the victims of the Tucson shootings in January, among them Christina-Taylor Green, the 9-year-old daughter of Dodgers scout John Green and granddaughter of former major league manager and GM Dallas Green. Her parents and brother brought the lineup cards to home plate. Families of the victims sat near the third-base dugout. Daniel Hernandez, an intern who helped save the life of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during the shootings, threw out a ceremonial first pitch along with Joe Garagiola…..Beckett warmed up to start the second but felt soreness in his left knee and didn’t pitch. “If it was a regular game, I could have pitched through it,” he said…..RF Jose Bautista made a sliding catch in foul territory in the right-field corner on McCann before hitting the wall feet first….The NL has outscored the AL 344-341…..This was the first time the DH was used for an All-Star Game in an NL ballpark…..Even though the NL won for just the fifth time in 24 years, it holds a 42-38-2 advantage.