CHICAGO – The Florida Marlins and Chicago Cubs were tied when Greg Dobbs came to the plate with the bases loaded and two out in the eighth inning.
Dobbs wanted to make Kerry Wood throw him a strike. Wood never did, and Dobbs' walk forced in the go-ahead run in Florida's 7-5 victory on Sunday.
"I just wanted to make them throw strikes," said Dobbs, who also hit a two-run homer. "I can't take full credit for that inning. All the guys ahead of me did a great job getting on base."
After Dobbs' four-pitch walk against Wood (1-5), Logan Morrison capped Florida's three-run rally with a two-run single to center that made it 7-4.
Aramis Ramirez hit a two-out RBI double in the bottom half but Randy Choate came in and got Carlos Pena to bounce out to end the inning. Leo Nunez allowed Marlon Byrd's leadoff single in the ninth before retiring three straight for his 26th save.
Hanley Ramirez homered during Florida's three-run first, belting a long solo drive for his ninth of the season. John Buck hit three singles and reached four times.
"It all goes back to the bases on balls," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. "A couple of guys took key bases on balls. The go-ahead run was on another base on balls. That's the third time in the last week that's happened where we've been able to do that."
Four Florida pitchers retired 20 straight batters after Darwin Barney's single in the second, the streak ending with Starlin Castro's two-out walk against Steve Cishek in the eighth.
"I was happy with what (the bullpen) did," McKeon said. "You don't give them anything and make them earn it. They want to hit them, hit them. Make them earn it."
Reed Johnson, Castro and Ramirez each doubled and scored during Chicago's three-run first. Johnson added a sacrifice fly in the second.
Randy Wells allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings for Chicago. The right-hander has surrendered at least four runs in each of his last five starts and is winless since he beat Arizona in his first game of the season on April 4, a span of nine starts.
The Marlins staked Chris Volstad to an early 3-0 lead, but the 6-foot-8 right-hander was removed for a pinch hitter in the fourth. He gave up four runs and six hits.
"I just saw a young guy that's been in the big leagues for three years," McKeon said. "It's time for him to step up and get mentally tough. He's got good stuff but he's got to get tough."
Burke Badenhop replaced Volstad and threw three perfect innings. Edward Mujica (8-2) tossed a perfect seventh and leads the Marlins in victories.
Florida won three of four in the series to improve to 14-9 under the 80-year-old McKeon. It has won 12 of 16 overall.
"It's a tribute to the players understanding how to win and they're devoting full attention to the game when they put the uniform on and they're having fun," McKeon said. "As long as that happens we will continue to win."
The Marlins went ahead for good during the wild eighth.
Mike Stanton started the inning with a strikeout but hustled to first when Wood's fastball struck home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi in the mask and rolled back to the screen. Mike Cameron hit into a double play, but Wood hit Buck and walked pinch-hitter Wes Helms.
Brett Hayes came in to run for Buck and nearly was picked off second, but second base umpire Lance Barrett ruled he was safe. Cubs manager Mike Quade ran onto the field to protest and replays suggested he had reason to complain.
"It's getting tough to watch some of this," Quade said. "I get bang-bang (plays). I have all the respect in the world for these (umpires). We've heard a lot of comments lately and I try to stay out of it, but there were a couple of calls in this series that were mind-boggling."
Emilio Bonifacio then reached on an infield single, setting the table for Dobbs' big at-bat.
"It was not a good series for us, but we had company," Quade said, referring to the umpires. "And I hope that as accountable as we need to be, those guys are being accountable."
Wells' first-inning problems continued on Sunday. He walked leadoff hitter Bonifacio and Dobbs followed with an opposite-field homer that landed in the basket in left-center.
"Thank God for the net," Dobbs said. "It's nice having that basket there. I wasn't looking to do anything but get a good pitch to hit and stay inside and hit the ball up the middle or the other way. When I hit it I didn't think I got enough."
One batter later, Ramirez launched a 3-2 pitch that nearly left Wrigley Field just a shade to the left of center. The ball landed behind the camera booth behind the batter's eye.
"You warm up and come out and try to establish a plan," Wells said. "It's pretty obvious where it went wrong."
Wells has allowed 13 first-inning runs in 10 starts this season, including five of the 10 homers he has surrendered.
"(Wells) is nowhere near where we want him to be," Quade said. "I thought he was better after the first inning."
The Cubs bounced back with three in the bottom half, and another run in the second. Blake DeWitt singled home Ramirez with two outs in the first, tying it at 3, and Johnson's fly ball to center drove in Geovany Soto in the second.
That was all the offense the Cubs could muster until the eighth.
"(Wells) battled to get through six," Quade said. "Kept us in the game on a tough day to pitch. Wish we could have tacked on a few late."
NOTES: The Marlins play at New York on Monday to make up a May 17 rainout. RHP Clay Hensley will start for the first time this season. He's been on the disabled list since June 3 with a right shoulder sprain and before that pitched out of the Florida bullpen. McKeon said Hensley won't be on a strict pitch count and will "go as long as he can go." ... Quade said before the game that he planned to give struggling closer Carlos Marmol another day off. Marmol, who has allowed six runs and walked six batters over his last 1 2-3 innings, is working with pitching coach Mark Riggins to iron out some mechanical issues. ... Bonifacio extended his career-high hitting streak to 16 games with an infield single to start the fifth. It's the longest active streak in the major leagues.