BREAKING

Cubs lose extra-inning battle in Arrieta's return to mound at Wrigley


by - Senior Writer -
Daniel Descalso provided the Cubs with hope by hitting a late Little League home run. (Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports)
Daniel Descalso provided the Cubs with hope by hitting a late Little League home run. (Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports)

CHICAGO, Ill. — Although he did not earn the winning decision for his efforts, former Chicago Cubs (27-18) ace Jake Arrieta came out on the winning side in the battle between the North Siders and Arrieta's Philadelphia Phillies (28-19) at Wrigley Field on Monday night. Arrieta started against his former club for the first time since departing for the Phillies following the 2017 season, and, in addition to receiving a standing ovation from the fans in his first plate appearance, he fared well by giving up just one run in six innings pitched. The starting pitching was largely overshadowed by the late-inning drama, though, as the Cubs benefited from a wacky go-ahead hit in the bottom of the eighth that was followed by clutch hitting from Philadelphia, which resulted in a 5-4 Phillies victory in 10 innings.

Arrieta faced a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the second but was able to escape it. He was not so lucky in the next inning, with Kyle Schwarber hitting a triple off him that Phillies left field Andrew McCutchen barely missed snagging on a leaping catch attempt near the wall. Schwarber's first triple of the season led to Anthony Rizzo plating Schwarber on an RBI base knock to right that put the Cubs up 1-0. Arrieta got out of the next tight spot that he found himself in by striking out Schwarber to end the fourth inning with runners on second and third. Then, in the fifth, superstar Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper gunned down Rizzo, who tagged up on a lineout in an attempt to score, at the plate to keep the Cubs' lead at one.

Cubs starter Yu Darvish was not as adept at dodging bullets on the evening. The right-hander's first five innings of work were stellar, but he marred his overall body of work by giving up three runs with two outs in the top of the sixth. An RBI single by J.T. Realmuto and a 2-run triple by Cesar Hernandez culminated in the Phillies taking a 3-1 lead. Darvish, who struck out seven batters in all, finished the sixth but did not come back out to pitch the seventh.

Phillies reliever Seranthony Dominguez pitched a flawless seventh and took the mound again in the eighth, when he walked the first two batters. He remained in the game, however, but went on to give up a costly triple to Daniel Descalso. Officially scored as a triple, the hit was essentially a Little League home run, as a botched play on the ball by two Phillies outfielders and a throwing error by Phillies shortstop Jean Segura enabled Descalso to turn the liner to left-center into a 4-bagger of sorts. Descalso plated two runners on the hit before coming home to score himself as a result of the error, thereby giving the Cubs a 4-3 advantage.

Segura redeemed himself via a game-tying single with two outs in the ninth that extended the contest. Cubs reliever Brad Brach gave up the hit and was handed a blown save because of it. Following an insignificant bottom half of the ninth, Kyle Ryan pitched for the Cubs in the top of the 10th and was taken deep by Realmuto on yet another pivotal 2-out hit for the Phillies. Descalso was unable to replicate his eighth-inning heroics in the bottom of the 10th, with the utility man grounding into a game-ending double play to secure the 5-4 extra-innings win for the Phillies in game one of the 4-game series.

Philadelphia Phillies at Chicago Cubs
May 20, 2019 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Extras R H E
Philadelphia (28-19) 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 1 5 9 1
Chicago (27-18) 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 4 11 0
W: Hector Neris (1-1) L: Kyle Ryan (0-1) S: Juan Nicasio (1)

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