Huffpost Chicago

Marlins End Cubs Road Win Streak At 9

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MIAMI — Hanley Ramirez homered and Cody Ross singled in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning to help the Florida Marlins snap the Chicago Cubs' nine-game road winning streak with a 2-1 victory on Saturday night.

Florida's Anibal Sanchez (2-2) pitched 5 1-3 innings for the Marlins, who avoided tying a season-high four-game losing streak. Kevin Gregg, who surrendered a game-winning home run on Friday night, pitched a scoreless ninth for his 27th save in 33 chances.

Henry Blanco homered for the Cubs, who had won five straight overall and hadn't lost a road game since July 22, at Arizona.

The Cubs began the day with the best record in the National League and a 5 1/2 game lead in the NL Central over the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Marlins remained four games behind the New York Mets in the NL East.

Chicago's Sean Marshall (2-3) gave up two runs and four hits with eight strikeouts in five innings in his first start since July 6.

Sanchez allowed one run and three hits, walking five and striking out six. In his last two starts, he has 14 strikeouts in 12 1-3 innings. Sanchez won 10 games and threw a no-hitter as a rookie in 2006, then missed most of last season and more than half of this one because of a shoulder injury that required surgery in June 2007. He made his first start this season on July 31.

Florida went ahead 2-1 in the fifth when Ross singled home Jeremy Hermida from second.

Hermida led off with a walk and took second on Matt Treanor's ground out. Sanchez struck out and Ramirez was walked intentionally before Ross lined Marshall's first pitch into right for a single.

Blanco homered to left-center with two out in the fourth to tie it at 1. It was Blanco's third homer.

Ramirez's 27th home run gave Florida a 1-0 lead in the first. It was Ramirez's 22nd career leadoff homer and seventh this season.

Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano struck out pinch-hitting for reliever Bob Howry in the seventh. Zambrano is hitting .357 in 70 at-bats this season.

(This version corrects the fifth paragraph to reflect the Marlins in the NL East, not West.)