Cubs work OT to top Marlins in Game 3, 5-4

Glanville's triple in 11th scores Lofton as Chicago takes 2-1 lead in series

Simon hits 2-run HR in 8th

`We feel good about our chances,' Glanville says

League Championship Series

October 11, 2003|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF

MIAMI — NLCS by the numbers

1: Mike Remlinger's saves past 3 years before last night.

6: Consecutive hits by Kenny Lofton over two games.

2 : Doug Glanville's postseason ABs in 13 pro years.

1: HRs last night; there were 13 in the first 2 games.

MIAMI - The Chicago Cubs rode the talented arm of Kerry Wood to a crossroads in the National League Championship Series last night. Then they went the last mile without him.

Wood pitched well in Game 3, but not well enough to win. The Cubs had to go 11 innings to score a 5-4 victory over the Florida Marlins before a sellout crowd of 65,115 at Pro Player Stadium.

Pinch hitter Doug Glanville lined a triple through the left side of the infield in the 11th inning, and Kenny Lofton raced all the way around from first base to score the go-ahead run that would send the Cubs up two games to one in the best-of-seven series.

In the end, the Cubs beat the Marlins at their own game, using Lofton's speed to open up the infield for the game-winning hit.

Lofton broke for second on the 2-1 pitch from Florida reliever Braden Looper, and fill-in shortstop Mike Mordecai had to break for second base. Glanville drove the ball through the gap, and it also skipped past a diving Jeff Conine in left field.

In the end, the bench jockeys and the bullpen carried the Cubs home in their first NLCS game on the road.

Reliever Mike Remlinger was the last man standing, working a scoreless 11th to save the win for Cubs closer Joe Borowski.

It never would have gotten that far if pinch hitter Tom Goodwin hadn't tripled with one out in the eighth and Cubs first baseman Randall Simon had not followed with a dramatic game-turning home run off Marlins reliever Chad Fox.

Maybe in this Cubs-crazed postseason, there is even redemption for an admitted sausage-basher - Simon - but the Marlins tied the game on a run-scoring pinch single by Todd Hollandsworth in the eighth inning.

"This game boiled down to pinch hitters," said Cubs manager Dusty Baker. "Goody had that triple and Randall homered and then we got the triple by Glanville, but they got some clutch hits from their bench."

Wood pitched 6 2/3 innings and gave up three runs on seven hits, which might have been adequate if Marlins starter Mark Redman had not battled him pitch for pitch into the seventh. Redman also went 6 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on eight hits, but he never was in line for the victory.

There always is extra emphasis placed on the odd-numbered games in the playoffs and World Series, and there is logic to support it - especially in a series that was even after two games.

The Marlins could not afford to lose last night, because it would have put them in the position of having to win the last two games at Pro Player Stadium and still defeat either Wood or Mark Prior at Wrigley Field to reach the World Series.

The Cubs could not afford to lose because they would have depended so heavily on Wood and Prior, who have accounted for each of the club's postseason victories so far, and a Marlins victory would have created the possibility that the Cubs could have lost the series without either of them pitching again.

There's a long way to go, but there's no doubt that the Cubs took a giant step toward the NL pennant.

"I guess we'll have to find out," said Glanville, who was 1-for-9 lifetime against Looper when he went to the plate, "but winning the first game of the series on the road is a great thing for momentum. I think it's big because, at worst, we will be able to take the series back to Chicago. We feel good about our chances."

Marlins manager Jack McKeon attempted to minimize the importance of the loss, but it was a tough sell.

"I thought this was a seven-game series," he said. "Reading all the articles this morning, I didn't know if we should show up tonight, but I thought we did a pretty good job.

"We got a few breaks and we had a few opportunities that we didn't cash in, but we were down a game to the Giants and won. I think we're capable of winning three games in a row."

The Cubs broke on top again, scoring in the first inning for the third straight game when Sammy Sosa hit a sizzling line drive off the left field fence to drive home Lofton with one out.

Lofton led off with a sharp bouncer that caromed off the chest of first baseman Derrek Lee and led to a collision at first base that nearly cost the Marlins their starting pitcher.

Redman had sprinted to first to cover on the play, but he waited too long to get away from the bag when it became apparent there would be no play. Lofton streaked past and clipped Redman's jaw with his shoulder, sending the pitcher to the ground and sending a major shiver through the Marlins' dugout.

The incident was mildly reminiscent of the controversial play in the NL Division Series, when Atlanta Braves veteran Robert Fick intentionally reached out and knocked the glove off the hand of Cubs first baseman Eric Karros, an act that prompted disciplinary action from the commissioner's office.

There was one major difference last night. Lofton did not appear to hit Redman on purpose.

Who knows how much the jarring blow affected the Marlins left-hander, but he certainly looked shaky in the early innings. He allowed the RBI shot to Sosa and got into a major jam with a pair of walks to load the bases with one out in the second.

Wood fought off a 1-2 pitch to hit a soft fly ball to center to bring home the second run of the game, and Redman survived a single by Lofton to get out of the inning with only one run across.

NLCS glance

Yesterday's score

Chicago 5, Florida 4, 11 inn. (Chicago leads series 2-1) Today's game

Chicago (Clement 14-12, 4.11) at Florida (Willis 14-6, 3.30), 8 p.m., chs. 45, 5

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