(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
In what looked like it was going to be a disastrous home series against the Chicago Cubs, the Phillies fought back over the last two games to split the four-game series.
Thursday’s game was rained out and turned Friday into a double-header. Game One of the twin bill was all Cubs ace, Jake Arrieta. Arrieta was brilliant, pitching eight innings of one-run baseball. His lone blemish was a solo home run off of Aaron Altherr in the bottom of the second inning. The Phillies held the lead for the first four innings. The Cubs went on to score five unanswered runs over their final five frames. Phillies starter Adam Morgan was responsible for the first two runs due to RBI doubles from Austin Jackson and rookie Kris Bryant. Phillies reliever Hector Neris surrendered the final three runs. Addison Russell had a two-run RBI double in the sixth inning and Starlin Castro closed out the scoring in the seventh inning with a home run. Cubs win the game, 5-1.
Game Two of the double header on Friday continued where Game One left off. Chicago came out quick with three quick runs over the first two innings. Kyle Schwarber certainly loved hitting off of Alec Asher as he hit a solo home run in the first inning followed by a two-run home run in the second inning. The Phillies brought it to within two runs in the fourth inning thanks to a RBI fielders choice off of the bat of Andres Blanco. The Cubs answered with three runs in the top of the fifth inning. Chris Coghlan doubled off of Asher with Bryant bringing Coghlan to score with a two-run home run. The Phillies were able to squeeze out two more runs off of Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks, but it wasn’t enough as they lost game two of the double header, 7-3.
The Phillies ship began to right itself Saturday night. The early stages of the game were dominated by pitching. Phillies rookie Jerad Eickhoff pitched strong, giving up only a solo home run to Schwarber in his seven innings on the mound. The Phillies bats remained silent until they dropped a five spot in the seventh inning. Ryan Howard doubled in Altherr, Darnell Sweeney was walked with the bases loaded, and Cesar Hernandez had a bases clearing double to complete the five run rally. The eighth inning was not nearly as kind to Philadelphia. The Cubs answered back with four runs of their own, tying the game 5-5. Coghlan and Bryant both had RBI doubles and Miguel Montero had a sacrifice fly to close out the scoring in the frame. The game seemed destined for extra innings until Phillies pinch hitter Cody Asche stepped in and belted a two-run walk-off home run to make it 7-5 and set Philadelphia up to inevitably split the weekend series.
Sunday’s game was another back and forth affair at Citizens Bank Park. Phillies starter Aaron Harang gave up a quick run in the first inning, giving up an RBI single to Bryant. The Phillies came out in the first inning with two runs of their own. Ryan Howard had a sacrifice fly and Cameron Rupp singled in Altherr. The Phillies made it 4-1 in the third inning when Howard hit a two-run home run off of Dan Haren, his 22nd home run of the season. The Cubs did not give up as they chipped away and scored a run in the fourth, fifth, and the seventh to tie it 4-4. The Phillies regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning due to a wild pitch with Rupp batting, scoring Altherr. This would be a lead the Phillies would not give up, and even scoring two more runs off of Freddy Galvis’s double in the eighth inning. Galvis was thrown out at third base trying to stretch his double to a triple. Ken Giles came in for this 13th save. The Phillies won 7-4 and split the four-game series against the Cubs.
The Phillies remain at home as they welcome the Washington Nationals for a three-game series. First pitch of the series is tomorrow at 7:05pm.