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July 8, 2013

Cubs rebound, overcome Pirates in 10th

Reds fall to Mariners in interleague play.

Pinch hitter Dioner Navarro had a game-ending sacrifice fly in the 11th inning, lifting the Chicago Cubs to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

Anthony Rizzo sparked the winning rally with a leadoff single. He advanced on Alfonso Soriano’s single and went to third when Pirates catcher Russell Martin threw the ball into center field while trying to pick Rizzo off second.

Luis Valbuena was walked intentionally before Navarro’s fly ball to right off Bryan Morris (4-3) gave the Cubs their seventh win in the last 11 games.

Matt Guerrier (3-4) pitched two scoreless innings for his first win with Chicago. He was acquired in the trade that sent Carlos Marmol to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

The Cubs had a 3-2 lead and the Pirates were down to their last strike when Starling Marte drove a 3-2 pitch from closer Kevin Gregg over the wall in center for his ninth homer.

It was Gregg’s second blown save in 17 opportunities. He began the inning with consecutive strikeouts against Jordy Mercer and pinch hitter Travis Snider.

Chicago (38-48) improved to 20-18 since it got off to a lackluster start. It has won five of its last seven series.

Pittsburgh (53-34) has dropped three of four to fall into a tie with St. Louis for the NL Central lead and the best record in baseball.

Cardinals 3, Marlins 2

Lance Lynn outpitched Marlins All-Star Jose Fernandez for his 11th win and Matt Holliday homered for the St. Louis Cardinals in a 3-2 victory that wrapped up a three-game sweep Sunday.

Lynn (11-3) worked seven strong innings in 87-degree heat and matched All-Star Adam Wainwright for the team lead in wins, bouncing back from losses in consecutive starts for the first time in his career. He struck out seven, fanning Giancarlo Stanton all three times, and has reached 11 wins prior to the break both of his years in the rotation.

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