Dolis can't walk late-inning tightrope

Reliever Rafael Dolis took the loss for the Cubs on Tuesday night in Miami. Steve Mitchell/US Presswire

MIAMI -- One day Rafael Dolis might own the situation he found himself in Tuesday night.

This time, though, the Chicago Cubs reliever was exposed, and the Miami Marlins tagged him with the loss when Hanley Ramirez crushed a three-run home run to earn a 5-2 victory.

Dolis struggled at the start of his second inning of work, not helped by the fact that Darwin Barney booted a ball at second base hit by leadoff hitter Jose Reyes.

A passed ball and a walk to Emilio Bonifacio signaled trouble and brought pitching coach Chris Bosio from the dugout, but it didn’t matter as Ramirez crushed a 3-1 pitch over the wall in left-center, setting off the Marlins' new home-run display of dancing flamingos, swimming dolphins and geysers of water not far from where the ball landed.

It only helped illustrate another ugly loss for the Cubs when they were in a game late only to see it slip away.

Despite being a man down in the bullpen after Kerry Wood was sent home with shoulder discomfort, manager Dale Sveum said he would have tried to get the extra inning out of Dolis whether he was at full strength or not.

“I still needed two innings out of that spot,” Sveum said. “We’re in a tie game. We would have thought about it but still we would have probably waited one more inning because if we scored then it’s Wood and then it’s [Carlos] Marmol.”

If Wood can’t return by the weekend and finds himself on the disabled list, Dolis is probably looking at more high-pressure situations at the end of games.

“He threw the ball OK, but walked a few guys, obviously,” Sveum said. “It all started with an unfortunate error. He would have got four pretty quick outs and it would have been a different story too.”

Without much offense these days, walks and errors are only coming back to haunt the Cubs.

“When we can score runs you can get away with that, but when you struggle to score runs and hit home runs it’s difficult to get leads and come back in ballgames as well,” Sveum said.