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Marlins 5, Cubs 2

MIAMI — There was no protest and just one heckler. The only boos were directed toward the plate umpire, and by the eighth inning Ozzie Guillen's Marlins had the crowd in such a happy frenzy that the roar shook the clubhouse.

Guillen made a victorious return to the dugout Tuesday night, and pitchers Josh Johnson and Heath Bell snapped out of early slumps to help beat the Cubs 5-2.

When the dugout emptied and Guillen joined his players on the field for the postgame celebration, there were only cheers from the crowd.

"It was great to perform and hug Ozzie again," Bell said. "We really want to win for him and try to put all that other stuff behind him."

Guillen returned from a five-game suspension imposed after his comments praising Fidel Castro caused a backlash in South Florida, especially among Cuban Americans.

Johnson pitched seven strong innings and Bell earned the save after several rocky outings. Hanley Ramirez broke a tie at 2 with a three-run homer in the eighth.

For Guillen, the win was a relief.

"Thank God this day is over with," he said.

No demonstrations targeted at Guillen were evident, although a screaming fan in the second deck did call the manager an insulting name several times midway through the game. There were boos when Guillen ran onto the field to complain about a call in the seventh, but they were for the ump.

Guillen said what he heard from the crowd was supportive.

"Everything was pretty nice," he said. "It made my day a little easier. I appreciate the way people were, not just with me but with the team."

Some fans had pledged to stay away in protest. Announced attendance was 24,544, by far the smallest in five games at the Marlins' new ballpark.

The rally in the eighth started when Jose Reyes reached on second baseman Darwin Barney's error. Ramirez homered two batters later.

Marlins 5

Cubs 2

Marlins 5, Cubs 2 04/17/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 1:17am]
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