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Cubs back Marmol with three HRs, beat Reds

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Carlos Marmol and Neifi Perez took advantage
of their fill-in opportunities for the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

Marmol, making the appearance originally scheduled for Kerry
Wood, pitched six strong innings in his first major league start
and Perez, playing in place of injured third baseman Aramis
Ramirez, hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs
to lead Chicago to a 9-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

"The first pitch, I was nervous," Marmol said. "After that,
it was like pitching in Double-A. It was exciting."

Phil Nevin and Ronny Cedeno also homered and Cedeno had a
career-high three RBI for the Cubs, winners of three straight for
the first time since April 23-25.

Marmol (1-0), who got the start when Wood was placed on the
15-day disabled list on Friday, gave up just one run and two hits.
He walked three and struck out seven in his third career
appearance.

"He was throwing strikes," Reds second baseman Brandon
Phillips said. "He did a nice job. He had a little slider-curve.
Whatever it was, you couldn't see the spin on the ball."

The Reds got runners on base in every inning except the first
against Marmol, but he held them hitless in five at-bats with
runners in scoring position.

"He was aggressive with his fastball, and he was able to use
his breaking ball," Chicago pitching coach Larry Rothschild said.
"When he makes mistakes, he knows what to do and can adjust. He's
a great athlete."

Perez was making his fourth start of the season at third base as
Ramirez got the day off after being hit in the left elbow by a
pitch Saturday night. He responded by doubling his career homers
and RBI against Reds starter Eric Milton, against whom he was
hitting .148 (4-for-27) with one home run and three RBI coming into
the game.

"I'm not anywhere close to Aramis," Perez said. "When you
don't play every day, it's hard to keep your swing. I'm just trying
to keep working so I'm ready when they need me."

Milton (4-3) allowed six hits and four runs in seven innings for
his first loss after winning consecutive starts against the Cubs
and St. Louis. He walked one and struck out five.

Milton retired the first 13 batters he faced before Matt Murton
singled to right field with one out in the fifth inning. Jacque
Jones and Cedeno followed with singles. Murton scored on Cedeno's
hit and both runners moved up on Adam Dunn's throwing error,
setting up Perez's sacrifice fly that gave Chicago a 2-0 lead.

David Ross cut the Reds' deficit to 2-1 in the bottom of the
fifth with a solo homer to right-center field, his seventh of the
season and second of the series.

Perez followed Milton's two-out walk to Cedeno in the seventh
with a first-pitch homer to left to make it 4-1.

"Today was alright," said Milton, who hadn't allowed a walk in
his previous three starts. "It just wasn't good enough. You can't
let extra runners on base. That's something you can't do, but the
mistake was the home run."

Phillips added his seventh homer of the season and second of the
series with one out in the seventh, off reliever David Aardsma.

The Cubs broke the game open with a five-run eighth inning.
Nevin started it with his 11th homer of the season and second since
being acquired from Texas on May 31, and Cedeno added his own
two-run shot, his second of the season.

"They just flat out beat us," Reds manager Jerry Narron said.
"It's tough to win the game when you only have three hits going
into the seventh inning."

Dunn hit his 20th homer in the eighth.

Game notes
Ryan Freel's start at third base was his first of the
season. He also has started at second base and all three outfield
positions. ... Marmol was the fourth Chicago pitcher to make his
first major league start this season, the most for the Cubs since
they had five in 2000. ... Murton is hitting .437 (7-for-16) in his
career against Milton. ... Weathers left the game with what was
diagnosed after the game as tendinitis in his right shoulder after
giving up Nevin's homer and a single by Murton. ... The Cubs went
6-4 on their 10-game road trip, their longest of the season. ...
Phillips' homer was the first allowed by Chicago relievers in 38
innings, dating back to Dunn's homer off Eyre on May 29.