(BaseballStL) -- The Chicago Cubs were hoping to come to St. Louis with more momentum to face the rival Cardinals for the first game of a four-game series starting Monday night.
Looking for a weekend sweep of the New York Mets and a four-game winning streak, the Cubs ran into a mess with a 3-0 lead in the ninth inning on Sunday.
Carlos Marmol, a once promising closer, entered the game three outs away from a sweep. Marlon Byrd greeted him with a solo home run on his third pitch, all fastballs, thrown. Lucas Duda then walked before John Buck slapped a single.
The only out Marmol got came on a sacrifice bunt by Omar Quintanilla to move both runners into scoring position.
With the Mets itching to tie the game, Kirk Nieuwenheis, who had a .103 average on the season and snapped a 0-for-21 streak at the plate the day before, struck gold with the situation by blasting a three-run home run in walk-off fashion.
See ya, Carlos Marmol and the Cubs.
The outcome prompted Alfonso Soriano to speak his mind about whether Marmol can be a successful closer.
"I don't know," Soriano told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. "It depends on him. He used to be good. I think he's good, but he's lost a little bit of his confidence, and this game is all about confidence. I hope he gets it back and becomes the Marmol I know."
Sunday’s loss to the Mets, who dropped 10 of their previous 12, marked the third time Marmol has blown a save in five opportunities this year. He blew three saves in 23 chances last season. His record sits at 2-4 with a robust 6.08 ERA and six home runs allowed in 30 appearances (26.2 innings pitched) this season.