MIAMI -- Ryan Dempster is hoping he can put together a strong finish that will carry over into next season.
That's the only thing he can focus on during another lost season for the Chicago Cubs.Dempster pitched seven crisp innings and the Cubs beat the Florida Marlins 2-0 on Friday night.Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto each hit an RBI double for the Cubs (66-81), who matched their season best with their fourth consecutive victory.Carlos Marmol worked out of a jam in the ninth to earn his 32nd save in 37 chances, completing the five-hitter. Florida put two runners on with no outs before Marmol retired the next three batters, with shortstop Starlin Castro making a diving catch in short left field to rob Logan Morrison and end the game."I believe in retribution," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "The kid had a couple of mistakes and finished the game off in grand fashion. It was beautiful."Dempster (14-10) allowed three hits and walked three in his fifth consecutive road victory. He has tossed seven shutout innings in each of his last two starts."The stronger you finish this year, the better, more positive things there are for next year," Dempster said. "That's why I think it is important to go through the finish line and not to it."The Marlins' best opportunity to score against Dempster came in the seventh. Mike Stanton reached on a two-base error by Castro to start the inning and moved up on Cameron Maybin's single. Maybin then stole second with no outs.Dempster responded by retiring the next three batters, including back-to-back strikeouts against Wes Helms and Emilio Bonifacio to end the inning."I thought he deserved the chance after the mistake to put him in a little trouble to get through it, and get through it he did," Quade said.Florida put runners on first and second with one out in the eighth, but Sean Marshall got Chad Tracy to hit into a fielder's choice and struck out Stanton to end the threat."We had our chances," Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "That clutch hit never came."Soriano drove in Soto in the second when left fielder Morrison lost his hit in the lights, and Soto chased Alex Sanabia (4-3) with his two-out RBI double in the sixth."I went into the lights and I lost it, then didn't pick it up again," Morrison said. "It put us in a hole."Sanabia (4-3) allowed four hits and walked three.
Marlins All-Star SS Hanley Ramirez was held out because of a sore left elbow. He is listed as day to day. ... Rookie Morrison walked in the first inning to extend his streak of reaching base safely to 36 games. ... Dempster is 7-3 with a 1.90 ERA in his last 14 September starts dating to 2008.