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« World Cup 2010 Preview: Group G Lilly Almost No-Hits The Sox, Cubs Win 1-0 »

Baseball Sun Jun 13 2010

Cubs edge Sox in dual duel for no-hitters

Inning after inning, Ted Lilly and Gavin Floyd matched each other pitch for pitch and out for out. Neither had given up a hit, and neither seemed inclined to falter any time soon. With the Stanley Cup in the house, the Cubs and White Sox were validating the national spotlight of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.

Floyd stumbled first, allowing a double by Alfonso Soriano in the bottom of the seventh. The next hitter, Chad Tracy, followed with a single up the middle, past the dive of second baseman Gordon Beckham, and the Cubs had not only the game's first hits, but its first run.

<< CUBS 1, WHITE SOX 0 >>

Lilly kept his no-hit bid alive until Juan Pierre, pinch-hitting for Floyd, led off the ninth inning by lining an outside fastball into center field. It was Lilly's last pitch, as Carlos Marmol came in to finish off the shutout and the win.

But Marmol, the Cubs' mercurial closer, rarely makes it easy. He walked Andruw Jones -- batting leadoff tonight for the first time in 12 years -- and then balked the two runners into scoring position.

After striking out Alexei Ramirez for the first out, Marmol intentionally walked Alex Rios to set up a force at every base or a potential game-ending double play. The strategy paid off: Sox cleanup hitter Paul Konerko hit it on the ground and Derrek Lee threw home to force out Pierre. Carlos Quentin flied out to center on a 2-1 fastball to end the game and a pair of streaks. The White Sox had won four in a row; the Cubs had lost three.

 
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