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Marlins rally with six in 9th to topple Cubs, win sixth straight

CHICAGO -- 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 Carlos Marmol, and the Florida Marlins scored six times in the ninth inning to rally for a 6-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night that extended their season-high winning streak to six games.

"It's huge," Dobbs said. "It keeps us moving in the right direction, which is really good. We're going to fight it out -- we have to. We can't give up. We're building off things right now. We just have to keep riding off the momentum, keep executing."

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 for Chicago 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.

"Be patient, be selective, get good pitches to hit. They did that," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. "Consequently, they couldn't throw the ball over, so take it, take it, take it. Make them throw strikes."

As for Marmol? Well, he'll just try to shake this one off.

"Tomorrow, hopefully I can get a save situation again," said Marmol, who also blew a save opportunity last weekend at Pittsburgh.

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.

"Not right now," Quade said. "You take something like this and try to figure out how to fix it. Sean Marshall and Woody have done that before, can do that, but we're not going to be any good without all three of them. We're not."

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 as if they 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.

Chicago was 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.

"We're starting to make things happen," McKeon said.

Game notes
Marlins RHP Clay Hensley, on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right shoulder, will start Monday against the New York Mets. He made a rehab start Wednesday at Double-A Jacksonville and threw 72 pitches. ... 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."