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Rapid Reaction: Marlins 5, Cubs 2

MIAMI -- The Chicago Cubs were in it late, but watched the game slip away in the eighth inning to fall 5-2 to the Miami Marlins on Tuesday in their first ever game at Marlins Park.

How it happened: With Kerry Wood back in Chicago to get a cortisone shot on his right shoulder, the Cubs leaned hard on young right-hander Rafael Dolis and paid for it. Hanley Ramirez's three-run home run off Dolis snapped a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning. The duel between Cubs starter Ryan Dempster and Marlins starter Josh Johnson was as good as advertised with each giving up just two runs. Both of the runs given up by Dempster were unearned.

What it means: The Cubs had better figure out how to be proficient at these low-scoring close games because they will probably have to be their forte until they can find consistent offensive production. Dempster has held up his end of the bargain after three starts but the bullpen couldn’t pick him up. Matt Garza can make it 3-for-3 himself with a solid outing Wednesday.

Outside the box: A cleanup hitter who gives himself up for the good of the team sounds like something out of a dream. But it was a reality from Alfonso Soriano in the fourth inning. With runners on second and third, Soriano worked the count and went the other way with a ground ball to second base to get the RBI. The solid approach was only short-lived, though. In the sixth inning with runners on first and second, he hit a ground ball toward third base to start a double play.

Off beat: The Cubs had a team workout Tuesday afternoon that was part tutorial for a new ballpark and part spring-training refresher course. Not only did the Cubs take early batting practice to get used to the way the ball flies at brand new Marlins Park, they also took full infield practice.

Up next: Cubs right-hander Garza (1-0, 1.23 ERA) will get the call in the middle game of the three-game series. The Marlins will call on left-hander Mark Buehrle (0-2, 3.65) in the 6:10 p.m. CST start from Marlins Park.