Apr 7, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco (47) throws during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Marlins Pull Off Series Sweep Against Cubs

Ricky Nolasco beat Jeff Samardzija on Thursday, helping his own cause with an RBI single while he helped the Marlins to a sweep of the Cubs.

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Marlins Vs. Cubs: Miami Pulls Off Sweep With 5-3 Win

The Miami Marlins are one game over .500 after pulling off their first sweep of 2012. Jeff Samardzija won his first two starts of the season for the struggling Chicago Cubs -- recording the win in two-thirds of Chicago's victories this year -- but he was less sharp on Wednesday than his previous starts. He gave up five earned in just over three innings as the Marlins won 5-3.

Miami got off to a terrific start, scoring two runs in the first inning. Logan Morrison drove in Emilio Bonifacio with a single, which was followed up by a Gianocarlo Stanton groundout that allowed Hanley Ramirez to score from third base to make it 2-0.

The Cubs answered back with a great second inning. With the bases loaded, Darwin Barney hit a triple to score three runs for the Cubs. Those would be their only runs of the night. After the second inning, starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco improved considerably, going 5.1 innings without giving up another run. He also helped his own cause in the third. Following a Greg Dobbs double that scored Ramirez and Morrison, Donnie Murphy grounded out and Brett Hayes was walked in order to get to Nolasco. The Marlins' starter singled to right center, scoring Dobbs to extend the lead to 5-3.

Starting in the middle of the sixth inning, the Marlins bullpen was flawless to the end, with none of the five pitchers used giving up a run or a walk. Heath Bell entered in the ninth inning and comfortably recorded his second save of the year with a one-two-three inning.

For more on the two teams, head over to Miami Marlins blog Fish Stripes and Chicago Cubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue. For more from around baseball, check out Baseball Nation.

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Marlins Vs. Cubs: Jeff Samardzija, Ricky Nolasco Face Off In Thursday Matinee

The Florida Marlins beat up on the Cubs in the second game of their series in Miami on Wednesday, and they'll get an opportunity to sweep the Northsiders right out of town in a Thursday afternoon matinee. First pitch is scheduled for 12:40 and can be found on Fox Sports Florida.

The Marlins will face one of the biggest surprise starting pitchers so far in 2012. Cubs reliever turned starter Jeff Samardzija has a 2-0 record with a 3.95 ERA. He was considered somewhat of a risky prospect after moving out of the bullpen during the Spring, but he has been very dependable starters in the Cubs rotation so far in the early going. He'll be opposed by Ricky Nolasco who has just a 1-0 record but an even better 3.46 ERA.

For more on this and every Florida Marlins' series, head over to Fish Stripes. And for some perspective from the other dugout you can check out Bleed Cubbie Blue, SB Nation'sChicago Cubs blog. And as always, you can check out SB Nation's Baseball Nation for more on this and every MLB series.

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Cubs Vs. Marlins Final Score: Miami's Offense Gets Going In 9-1 Win

The Miami Marlins picked up a win over the Chicago Cubs in the first game of their series, and in the second game poured on the runs in the middle innings. The Marlins took the initial lead two-run home run by Donnie Murphy in the third inning. Hanley Ramirez added another two-run home run for the Marlins in the very next inning, setting off the home run structure two innings in a row and giving the Marlins a 4-0 lead.

The Marlins continued to add runs in the ball game, taking a 7-0 lead before the Cubs could plate their first run in the seventh inning. Miami added two more runs before the end, finishing up with a 9-1 win. Mark Buehrle picked up his first win for the Marlins, going eight innings allowing only six hits and striking out five.

For more on this and every Florida Marlins' series, head over to Fish Stripes. And for some perspective from the other dugout you can check out Bleed Cubbie Blue, SB Nation'sChicago Cubs blog. And as always, you can check out SB Nation's Baseball Nation for more on this and every MLB series.

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Marlins Vs. Cubs Preview: Mark Buehrle Seeks First Win As A Marlin Against Chicago

Mark Buehrle takes the mound for the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night seeking his first win since signing with the Marlins back in December. If Buehrle is going to get his first win of the season, the Miami offense has to give him some run support. In two games so far this season, the Marlins have plated only one run with Buehrle pitching, including a six and one-third innings against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 12.

The Cubs send pitcher Matt Garza to the hill on Wednesday, fresh off pitching eight and two-thirds scoreless innings with nine strikeouts against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 12. Garza is 3-1 with a 3.90 ERA but lasted only one and a third while giving up seven runs against the Marlins on June 18, 2010 while with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Cubs have lost three games in a row and are looking to avoid losing a season high four games.

For more on this and every Florida Marlins' series, head over to Fish Stripes. And for some perspective from the other dugout you can check out Bleed Cubbie Blue, SB Nation's Chicago Cubs blog. And as always, you can check out SB Nation's Baseball Nation for more on this and every MLB series.

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Cubs Vs. Marlins Recap: Hanley Ramirez Homer Delivers 5-2 Win In Ozzie Guillen's Return

In Ozzie Guillen's return to the club, and first game at Marlins park since his controversial comments about Fidel Castro, the Florida Marlins defeated the Chicago Cubs 5-2. The Fish clinched the win with some late-inning heroics from Hanley Ramirez, who belted a three-run homer to break up a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the 8th. The Ramirez homer off Rafael Dolls was smoked to left, which gave way to Heath Bell who slammed the door in the top of the 9th for first save in a Marlins uniform.

The Marlins got seven solid innings from ace Josh Johnson, who was not at his best but still held the Cubs to only two runs. Johnson walked three and struck out three, but he ate up the innings needed for Guillen's club. Ryan Dempster was effective all night for Chicago, striking out eight but the Cubs never put together a rally on offense, and the Marlins capitalized in the 8th.

Miami improved to 3-2 at their new ballpark, and they'll look to clinch the series on Wednesday with Mark Buerhle taking the mound and looking for his first win of the season.

For more on this and every Florida Marlins' series, head over to Fish Stripes. And for some perspective from the other dugout you can check out Bleed Cubbie Blue, SB Nation's Chicago Cubs blog. And as always, you can check out SB Nation's Baseball Nation for more on this and every MLB series.

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Cubs Vs. Marlins: Ozzie Guillen Returns From Suspension To Face Chicago

After five games away from the team Ozzie Guillen returns to the dugout on Tuesday to face the Northsiders from Chicago.

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