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Rondon strikes out the side in return to action

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MIAMI -- Hector Rondon finally got to pitch.

The right-hander pitched one scoreless inning of relief on Monday in the Cubs' 5-4, 13-inning win over the Marlins. He struck out the side in his first appearance since June 6.

Rondon, the designated closer, had some tenderness in his right elbow, and the Cubs wanted to be careful. He had pitched in four straight games in mid-May, but has been in only three games this month.

"He's good to go," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "We had an opportunity to go and use Neil [Ramirez on Sunday], and give Hector another day. We could've used him yesterday."

Rondon was shut down last week and threw a bullpen on Saturday. The right-hander had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2010. Will the Cubs be more careful?

"I think, more than anything, we'll just see how he is on a daily basis," Renteria said. "I'm not going to limit or put a limit on where he's going to be. We'll just monitor all of them normally and see how he is the next day."

Ramirez has filled in well, picking up saves in his last two appearances Friday and Sunday against the Phillies.

"The look in their eyes is pretty convincing that they know what they want to do," Renteria said of the young relievers. "Neil has done a great job."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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