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Cubs 0.5 games back in the wild-card

MIAMI (Ticker) -- David Weathers did not miss a beat in his
first starting assignment in six years.

Weathers, who made 455 relief appearances since his last start,
gave up one run and two hits with six strikeouts in five innings
as the Florida Marlins posted a 5-2 win over the Chicago Cubs
and earned a split of their key doubleheader.

The Cubs fell one-half game behind the idle San Francisco Giants
in the wild card race, while the Marlins are 4 1/2 back of the
Giants.

Weathers (7-7) was pressed into starting duty because Florida
was playing its third doubleheader in 11 games. He picked up
his first starting victory since May 22, 1988 against the
Colorado Rockies.

The Marlins gave Weathers early run support when Damion Easley
slammed a three-run homer off Matt Clement in the first inning.
Easley also had an RBI double in the third.

Clement (9-13) left after giving up five runs and three hits with
three walks in 2 2/3 innings. He is 2-9 in 18 starts since
June 13.

Armando Benitez pitched a scoreless ninth for his career-high
44th save. He got some help when Juan Encarnacion reached over
the right field wall to take a potential two-run homer away from
Todd Walker.

Chicago had a chance to tie the game with two on and none out in
the sixth. But reliever Rudy Seanez struck out Derrek Lee and
Sammy Sosa and got Mark Grudzielanek to bounce out to second
base.