Schwarber, Cubs show out at plate as North Siders beat Phillies
|Saturday, September 1, 2018, 10:28 PM- -|
PHILADELPHIA — After scoring just one run and floundering with men on base in the opener of their three-game affair with the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, the Chicago Cubs bounced back with a seven-run, 11-hit outing in game two. Highlighted by a stand-up triple by left fielder Kyle Schwarber, the Cubs' offensive showing was impressive all around. Cruising to a 7-1 win that featured a quality start on the hill by Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs improved to 80-55 to become the first team in the National League to reach the 80-win plateau.
Since acquiring second baseman Daniel Murphy in a trade a few weeks ago, the Cubs have gone 9-1, including Saturday night's triumph, and Murphy's leadoff prowess is a major reason why. Hitting a double to start the game, Murphy was scored soon afterward on an infield single by Javier Baez that featured a throwing error on behalf of Phillies shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. A couple of at-bats later, Baez scored on a double off the bat of Ben Zobrist to provide the Cubs with an early 2-0 advantage.
Phillies starting pitcher Zach Eflin lasted five innings on the bump, in which he was taken for four runs on seven hits and one walk. The third and fourth runs came on Schwarber's aforementioned triple. Motoring around the basepaths for his second three-bagger of the season, Schwarber ushered home Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant to make the score 4-0 in the third. Bryant was one of two Cubs to have a multi-hit performance on the evening, as he went 2-4 in his long-awaited return from the disabled list. Baez was the other Cub to accrue multiple hits, with the spark-plug infielder going 3-5 at the dish.
Hendricks found himself in a bit of a jam after allowing three straight singles to start the bottom of the fourth. Nick Williams came through with the third base knock, driving in Odubel Herrera in the process. However, Hendricks remained composed and escaped the fourth frame without suffering any further damage, due in large part to an inning-ending double play.
Chicago took a 5-1 lead in the seventh on Ian Happ's 14th home run of the year. A sweet swing resulted in a 377-foot solo blast to right for the Cubs outfielder. For good measure, the Cubs tacked on two more runs in the ninth. First, David Bote pushed a run across via a pinch-hit double with two outs in the ninth. Then, Baez garnered his 99th RBI of the season on a single that plated Bote.
The 7-1 victory by Chicago set up a rubber match between the Cubs and the Phillies tomorrow afternoon. Philadelphia dropped to 72-63 overall with the defeat, and Eflin fell to 9-6 on the year with the losing decision. As for Hendricks, who pitched six innings of one-run ball, he moved to 11-10 by accruing the winning decision.