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Cubs’ Randy Wells wins fifth straight

CHICAGO IL - SEPTEMBER 04:  Starting pitcher Randy Wells #36 Chicago Cubs delivers during first inning against Pittsburgh Pirates

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 04: Starting pitcher Randy Wells #36 of the Chicago Cubs delivers during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field on September 4, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images) R:\Merlin\Getty_Photos\123712461.jpg

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Updated: November 22, 2011 11:13AM



This season won’t be about how things started for Randy Wells, but how they finish. So far, the Cubs right-hander has a good closing kick.

He won his career-best fifth straight Sunday with a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, giving up only a first-inning run through six innings.

‘‘I’m thinking about the rest of the season, start to start,’’ said Wells (7-4), who missed the first two months of the season with a strained forearm. ‘‘The injury was tough. But it’s over. You focus on what you can do, find a routine that works for you and go out and play baseball and have fun doing it.’’

Wells was coming off his first-ever complete game shutout, a 7-0 two-hitter at San Francisco. He threw a season-high 114 pitches Sunday and gave up seven hits.

Bryan LaHair made his Cubs debut, playing left field and going 2-for-4 with an RBI.

‘‘I had fun out there, and most of all we got a win,’’ he said.

Speedster Tony Campana started in right and went 2-for-5 and stole his 18th base, the most by a Cubs rookie since Ced Landrum stole 27 in 1991.

‘‘When I bunt or put the ball in the right spot, they don’t have a chance,’’ he said. ‘‘That’s the plan. I’m having fun and that’s what it’s about. I think I’ve shown what I can do. It’s up to them.’’

Closing act

Sean Marshall pitched the ninth for his fourth save a day after Carlos Marmol suffered his ninth blown save.

‘‘He threw 39 pitches,’’ manager Mike Quade said of skipping Marmol. ‘‘I’d like to get him back out there after some reasonable rest and a few other things.’’

Quade said Marmol is still the team’s closer, though he again needs to correct flaws with his slider.

‘‘It winds up being about command,’’ Quade said. ‘‘It’s been a tough fight for him and he’s going to have to continue figuring it out these last few weeks. The one positive thing is he came back the last tough time, but these things have crept up a few times now. We’re just looking for what he’s been the last few years.’’

Rained out

Andrew Cashner’s last scheduled rehab appearance Saturday with Class AAA Iowa was postponed by rain. He was scheduled to pitch Sunday night for Iowa, with a possible return to the Cubs Tuesday or Wednesday.



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