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Cubs, Marlins back where they started

The Cubs' 24-hour visit to Miami included a brief stay atop the wild-card standings. Then they lost their lead because they couldn't beat David Weathers.

The journeyman right-hander, making his first start in six years, held Chicago to two hits and one run in five innings, and the Marlins won 5-2 for a split of their doubleheader Monday.

Mark Prior allowed five hits in 7 innings and outpitched Carl Pavano in the opener to help the Cubs win 5-1.

With the Game 1 victory, Chicago climbed a percentage point ahead of San Francisco in the wild-card race. But the Cubs ended the day where they started: a half-game behind the idle Giants.

"We've been knocking on first place for a while," Chicago manager Dusty Baker said. "We'll keep knocking until we kick the door in."

The Marlins, who had hoped to gain ground with a sweep, instead remained 4{ games behind San Francisco. The defending World Series champions have no games left against the four teams ahead of them.

"Time's running out on us," manager Jack McKeon said. "Maybe it's not going to happen. But as long as we've got the least bit of life, we'll give it a run."

Weathers showed the Marlins that anything is possible. Pitching for his third team this season, he went into the game 0-4 lifetime against the Cubs with an 11.44 ERA. But he earned a standing ovation from fans behind the Florida dugout when he walked off the mound after the fifth with a 5-1 lead.

"It felt good to go out there and do something to help, instead of sitting around collecting a free check," Weathers said.

Rudy Seanez pitched out of a jam in the sixth, and Guillermo Mota and Armando Benitez completed the five-hitter. Benitez pitched the ninth for his 44th save, a career high and the most in the league.

Florida rightfielder Juan Encarnacion helped his closer in the ninth with a leaping catch to rob pinch-hitter Todd Walker of a two-run homer.