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Cubs Sun Jun 13 2010

Lilly Almost No-Hits The Sox, Cubs Win 1-0

The Cubs were on the verge of being swept by their neighbors to the South for the first time since 1999. Ted Lilly had other ideas in mind Sunday night as he took on the Sox. Lilly has been victimized by lack of run support this season sporting a 1-5 record before coming into tonight's game. He has pitched better then his record may indicate and tonight was the prime example of that.

Before the game the 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks paid a visit to the Friendly Confines. Perhaps their presence rubbed off on both teams who have been playing sub par ball this season. Each teams starters took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. It became a see-saw battle between Sox starter Gavin Floyd and Cubs starter Ted Lilly. Floyd would blink first.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh Floyd gave up a double to Alfonso Soriano, who would eventually come around to score on a Chad Tracy single up the middle. Lilly now had the advantage. He made it through the eighth with the no-no intact. It would come to an end after Cub-nemesis Juan Pierre singled a pitch back up the middle.

With an elevated pitch count Lilly would be removed by Cubs skipper Lou Piniella for Carlos Marmol. It wouldn't be a Cubs-Sox game without some drama, now would it ? Marmol would eventually get out a bases loaded jam after getting Carlos Quentin to fly out to center and preserve Lilly's one-hit gem.

In 1995 Cubs pitcher Frank Castillo took a no-hitter into the ninth only to have it broken up with two outs. The no-hitter ultimately takes a back seat to a victory. The offense was non-existent until the seventh, but a win is a win. A no-hitter is the kind of thing that can wake a team up and get them going. Even though Lilly didn't get the no-hitter perhaps this is the spark the Cubs have been looking for.

There is still time to turn it around, maybe fans can look back at this date as the point where they turn it around. Only time will tell. The Cubs have Monday off and will resume Interleague play against the Oakland A's Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. It is the first time Oakland has visited Wrigley since 2004.

Carlos Zambrano will make his first appearance at Wrigley since returning to the rotation. Zambrano 2-4 ( 6.05 ERA) will take on the A's Trevor Cahill 5-2 ( 2.91 ERA). Game time is 7:05 p.m. CT.

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