Carlos Marmol's high-wire act obviously is wearing thin on fans.

But fortunately for Marmol, the only opinion that really matters belongs to manager Dale Sveum, whose faith in his embattled closer was tested once again Thursday in a hair-pulling 3-2 win over the Pirates.

Marmol gave up two ninth inning runs before stranding the tying run on third with no outs, posting a save in the scariest of fashions.

Asked about Sveum keeping the faith in him, Marmol laughed.

"That's a tough question," he said. "I mean, I'm going to continue trying to do my job. Right now, I'm focusing on getting people out. I don't focus on anything else."

Travis Wood notched the victory with six shutout innings, allowing one hit in an 85-pitch performance. Nate Schierholtz's two-run homer in the ninth was one of only three Cubs hits and turned out to be the game-winner.

But the heroics of Wood and Schierholtz were secondary by the time Marmol was fist-pumping his way toward the handshake line. Marmol's shaky outing once again grabbed the spotlight, just as it did despite eight shutout innings from Jeff Samardzija on Monday.

So how much longer can Sveum continue to keep Marmol as his closer?

"I went with it three months last year and he got out of all (the jams)," Sveum, said. "It wasn't like he was pitch efficient last year when he was getting out of all of them."

After being yanked in the ninth inning of the opening day victory over the Pirates, Marmol was called upon again with the three-run, ninth inning lead on Thursday. Four batters later, after three singles and a walk, the score was 3-2 and Marmol was on the ropes again.

But Marmol struck out Pedro Alvarez and induced Neil Walker to ground into a game-ending double play as the Cubs won their opening series for the first time since 2009.