Cubs' 14-game home win streak ends with 7-5 loss to O's
The Baltimore Orioles fared better in their first trip to Wrigley Field than Sean Marshall did in his return to the Friendly Confines.
Fresh off a three-game sweep of the White Sox at Wrigley and seeking their first 15-game home winning streak in 118 years (no misprint), the Cubs saw a late rally fall just short, falling 7-5 Tuesday night before a crowd of 41,537.
Marshall, who was recalled from Class AAA Iowa before the game to take the spot of ailing Carlos Zambrano in the starting rotation, didn't get out of the fifth inning. The lefty left trailing 4-1, yielding a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.
Marshall's fifth-inning woes started with a one-out single to Brian Roberts, who showed why Cubs general manager Jim Hendry was so interested in trading for him during the off-season.
Roberts, who went 3-for-5 in his first-ever appearance at Wrigley, singled and scored on Nick Markakis' double. One out later, Kevin Millar stroked an RBI single to knock out Marshall.
Markakis, who nearly hit his 13th homer of the season in the first after wparking 23 last season to go along with 112 RBI, finished 2-for-5.
The outfielder was selected by Baltimore in the 2003 draft with the seventh overall pick, one spot after the Cubs took high-schooler Ryan Harvey, who continues to toil in the low minor leagues. Roberts' run-scoring triple in the sixth gave him 1,000 career hits.
Baltimore opened the scoring in the fourth off Marshall, who was making his first big-league start since Sept. 15 of last season. Luke Scott, a lifetime .308 hitter at Wrigley in 26 at-bats during his three seasons with the Astros, hit a 2-run triple to right field. The ball skipped past the glove of Kosuke Fukudome and rolled to the ivy.
Fukudome led off the Cubs' fourth by hitting a Jeremy Guthrie pitch into the shrubbery in center field for his sixth homer of the season.
The Cubs trimmed their deficit to 7-4 in the seventh on a 3-run homer by Jim Edmonds, after Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez opened the inning with singles. Edmonds' homer, his sixth of the season and fifth as a Cub, ended the night of Orioles starter Guthrie.
Ramirez had an RBI single in eighth, but closer George Sherrill retired pinch hitter Matt Murton on a flyball with two runners on.
The Cubs loaded the bases in the ninth, but Sherrill struck out Ronny Cedeno, Fukudome and Henry Blanco to hand the Cubs just their ninth loss in 41 home games.