MIAMI -- Casey Coleman wanted to take advantage of being a starting pitcher, especially with this opportunity coming only two hours from his hometown of Cape Coral.
With as many as 75 friends and family members in attendance, the 23-year-old rookie lefty tossed six innings as the Chicago Cubs beat the Florida Marlins 5-3 Saturday night for their season-high fifth straight win."It's been a lot of fun getting to start for the Chicago Cubs, a lot of my friends are Cubs fans so it's really cool to say you started a few games," Coleman said.Coleman's father and grandfather, both named Joe, were All-Star pitchers. The youngest Coleman is 2-2 with a 4.15 ERA in six major league starts since making his debut last month."I would love to get him another start," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "My problem is that I'd like to get seven guys another start, so we'll see, but he's made a wonderful impression on all of us. He's also a kid that will do anything we ask."Marlon Byrd drove in two runs while Aramis Ramirez and Blake DeWitt also drove in a run for the Cubs.Carlos Marmol pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 33rd save in 38 opportunities.Marlins rookie Logan Morrison had three hits to extend his streak of reaching base to 37 games, tying Cliff Floyd for the third-longest string in franchise history."That was the positive of this game, Logan Morrison getting on base," Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "He knows what he's doing at the plate. Along with Michael Stanton, we have two key players for years to come."Anibal Sanchez (12-10) took the loss.Coleman allowed a run-scoring single to Stanton in the first inning, but settled down before giving up back-to-back doubles to Cameron Maybin and Brad Davis in the seventh. Those hits chased Coleman.Coleman allowed three runs and five hits. He struck out five and walked four."It's the classic work quick, change speeds, and throw strikes," Quade said. "He locates and he does all three of those things very well."Morrison's RBI single scored Davis pulling the Marlins to 4-3, but were unable to get any closer. DeWitt's RBI double in the eighth gave the Cubs a two-run cushion."It's frustrating. I feel we're giving great effort but you don't get Ws for effort," Morrison said. "Hopefully some balls start falling our way soon."Marmol retired all three batters he faced ending with Morrison to preserve the Cubs' win.The Cubs tied it at 1 in the fifth thanks to a wild throwing error by Davis, the catcher's second of the game. The runners at first and second were moving on a full-count pitch and even though Starlin Castro walked, Davis instinctively threw down to third, where the ball got past a diving Wes Helms. That let a run score, Byrd followed by bouncing a double over Helms' head and Ramirez doubled for a 4-1 lead."You put some people in motion and you hope for the best," Quade said.
Before the game, Quade told reporters that he wants to remain the Cubs' manager next season after taking over on Aug. 23 on an interim basis. "Absolutely, I was given a great opportunity and I wanted to make the best of it," he said. "I've been waiting to manage at this level for a long time." The Cubs are 16-7 under Quade. ... Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez missed his second straight game with a sore left elbow. ... Morrison is chasing Luis Castillo's franchise record of 47 straight games of reaching base set in 2002.