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NL ROUNDUP

Cubs, Marlins Split Key Doubleheader

September 21, 2004|From Associated Press

The Chicago Cubs' 24-hour visit to Miami included a brief stay atop the National League wild-card standings. Then they lost their lead because they couldn't beat David Weathers.

The journeyman right-hander, making his first start in six years, limited Chicago to two hits and one run in five innings, and the Florida Marlins won, 5-2, for a split of their doubleheader Monday.

Mark Prior (6-4) gave up only five hits in 7 2/3 innings and outpitched Carl Pavano in the first game to help the Cubs win, 5-1.

"A very impressive performance," Chicago Manager Dusty Baker said. "That's what you like to see this time of year in the stretch run."

With the victory in Game 1, Chicago climbed one percentage point ahead of San Francisco in the wild-card race. But the Cubs ended the day where they started -- half a game behind the idle Giants. The Marlins are 4 1/2 games behind San Francisco.

Weathers (7-7), pitching for his third team this season, had an 0-4 record and an 11.44 earned-run average against the Cubs.

The doubleheader was the third for the Marlins in 11 days.

The attendance was 37,412. Game 1 began in front of about 5,000 people.

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St. Louis 7, Milwaukee 4 -- Albert Pujols hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning at Milwaukee, allowing the Cardinals to celebrate their NL Central title -- two days after they clinched it.

The Cardinals had secured their third division title in five seasons with a victory over Arizona on Saturday, but Manager Tony La Russa refused to acknowledge that his team had won the title before or after Sunday's loss to Arizona because he wanted to clinch it on the field.

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