Burnett Burns Cubs

CHICAGO - A.J. Burnett had gone winless in seven starts with an ERA well over six on the road heading into Sunday. He hadn't faced the Chicago Cubs at the time. Burnett (7-6) tossed eight masterful innings, allowing one run on six hits for his first road win since July 27, 2002 as the Florida Marlins routed the Cubs, 11-1.

Glendon Rusch, starting in place of injured right-hander Matt Clement, lasted just 3.1 innings. He allowed a second inning RBI single to Jeff Conine and then four fourth-inning runs as the Marlins jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Conine and Alex Gonzalez doubled back-to-back to lead off the fourth before Burnett added insult to injury with an RBI single to right.

Rusch (6-2) was charged with the loss, his first in over three months since June 7 against St. Louis. Burnett meanwhile struck out six and walked only one.

A seventh inning two-out triple by Todd Walker that rolled all the way to the right field wall accounted for the Cubs' only scoring of the afternoon. Florida broke for four runs their next time up off right-hander Sergio Mitre in the eighth inning. Paul Lo Duca hit a two-run single with Miguel Cabrera and Mike Lowell adding RBI singles to add further salt into the wound and give the Marlins a split in the key four-game series.

The defending World Serires champs also moved to within a game and a half of the Cubs in the NL Wildcard standings. A Houston win in Pittsburgh would move the Astros back into a tie with the Cubs in the Wildcard, while a San Francisco victory at Arizona would give the Giants sole possession of first place in the Wildcard standings.

Next up for the Cubs are the Pittsburgh Pirates in a three-game series that starts Monday at 7:05 CT. The veteran Greg Maddux will go up against rookie left-hander Frank Brooks in game one of the series. The Marlins will travel 10 miles south to "host" the Montreal Expos at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday and Tuesday. The two games with both start at 1:05 CT. The White Sox are in Minnesota starting Tuesday.

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