The Cubs Post a ‘W’ at Wrigley – Cubs 4, Phillies 3

Game One Hundred Thirty-Five – Cubs 4, Phillies 3

WP – Carlos Villanueva (3-8) LP – Zach Miner (0-1) Save – Kevin Gregg (28)

wflag-pubThe Cubs rebounded nicely from Friday’s rough loss, scratched back from an early deficit and beat the Phillies on Saturday afternoon.

Starlin Castro (2-for-5 with a home run and a double) had another excellent day at the plate, and in the field. Castro delivered the game winner in the sixth inning. Castro launched a 1-0 pitch over the wall in center and his eighth longball of the season ended up being the difference in the game. After managing two extra base hits throughout the first 29 days of the month, Castro has four extra basehits in the last two games … three doubles and a home run.

The Cubs offense had a good day at the plate and while they could not cash in as many runs as they should have, they made Cliff Lee work and the offense made up for early defensive miscues. The Cubs faced the fourth different Cy Young award winner in the last week and knocked him out of the game after five innings. Lee tied a season-high with three walks and threw 113 pitches, 72 for strikes.

Cole Gillespie (1-for-3 with a sac fly and two RBI) tied the game twice on Saturday. Gillespie singled in Welington Castillo (2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored) with the tying run in the first inning then tied the game at three with a sacrifice fly in the fifth that plated Donnie Murphy (1-for-4 with a double and a run scored). Castillo drove in Murphy with a single in the third that tied the game at two at the time.

Darwin Barney (2-for-4 with a double and a walk) and Junior Lake (2-for-3 with a walk) reached base three times and the Cubs outhit the Phillies 11-6 on Saturday. The Cubs went 3-for-10 with RISP and left 11 men on base.

Chris Rusin pitched a better game than his final line indicates. Rusin was charged with three runs, two earned, on four hits with two walks, two hit batsmen and three strikeouts. Rusin threw 84 pitches, 51 for strikes, in five innings. Three defensive miscues, one charged error, led to two of the three runs the Phillies scored while Rusin was on the hill. Rusin made only one mistake and Kevin Frandsen deposited it in the bleachers in left center.

Dale Sveum did an excellent job with his pen on Saturday and five relievers combined on four innings of shutout ball in relief of Rusin. The Phillies managed only two singles over the last four frames and the Cubs’ pen did not issue a single walk. Carlos Villanueva picked up the win after tossing 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. Villanueva, James Russell and Blake Parker tossed a scoreless seventh. Cole Gillespie and Donnie Murphy gave assists to Pedro Strop in the eighth with two excellent defensive plays. And Kevin Gregg picked up the save after allowing a single in the ninth to Michael Young.

Saturday’s victory was a total team effort.

The Cubs won a game at Wrigley for just the fourth time in 21 home games (4-17) and finished August with an 8-20 record.

With Saturday’s victory over the Phillies, the Cubs improved to 57-78 on the season.

After Chris Rusin worked around a leadoff single by Michael Young in the first inning without allowing the Phillies to score, the Cubs wasted a scoring chance in the first inning.

Darwin Barney reached on a one-out double down the left field line. Anthony Rizzo put together an excellent eight-pitch at bat that ended with a walk. Donnie Murphy stepped in with runners on first and second with one out. Murphy worked a full count but took a 3-2 pitch that was called strike three. Both Barney and Rizzo took off with the pitch and Ruiz threw out Barney by a mile … the pitch Murphy took was too close to take with runners moving with the pitch. Cliff Lee threw 23 pitches in the first inning, 14 for strikes.

Chris Rusin struck out Darin Ruf looking and retired Mayberry on a grounder to the hole at short. Castro made a good pick and a strong throw to retire Mayberry for the second out.

The power hitting Kevin Frandsen stepped in and pulled a 1-1 pitch into the bleachers in left center. Frandsen’s second homer in as many days and fifth of the season gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Rusin hit Roger Bernadina with a 1-1 pitch. Cliff Lee grounded out to second (1-2 pitch) to end the inning. Rusin threw 31 pitches, 20 for strikes, over the first two innings.

Welington Castillo lined a 1-2 pitch back up the middle and into center with one out in the second inning. Darnell McDonald (1-2 pitch) reached on an infield single to third. With runners on first and second with one out, Cole Gillespie singled to center and plated Castillo with the tying run. Rusin bunted McDonald and Gillespie to second and third. Starlin Castro flied out to right center to end the inning. Lee threw 46 pitches, 31 for strikes, over the first two innings.

Chris Rusin made quick work of Young and Rollins to start the third inning and appeared to retire Utley on a grounder to third. But Anthony Rizzo took his eye off the throw from Murphy and did not catch the ball. Utley reached and instead of three up, three down on eight pitches, Rusin had to go back to work.

Rusin then picked off Utley from first base before a 2-1 pitch to Ruiz. Rusin made an accurate throw to Rizzo, but his throw to second was on the third base side of the bag. The ball skipped past Barney and Chase Utley held at second with two outs. Ruiz pulled a 2-2 pitch into the left field corner, Utley scored and the Phillies took a 2-1 lead. A wild pitch on a 1-2 offering to Ruf advanced Ruiz to third. Rusin walked Ruf and put runners on the corners with two down. A visibly frustrated Rusin retired Mayberry on a foul out to Rizzo to finally end the inning.

Chris Rusin threw 16 additional pitches after the Rizzo error in the third and retired Chase Utley twice. The Phillies took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the third and Rusin needed 55 pitches, 35 for strikes, to complete three innings on Saturday.

Cliff Lee made quick work of Barney (lineout to center) and Rizzo (groundout to first) to start the third. Donnie Murphy then reached on a fielding error by Michael Young. Junior Lake followed with a single to left. Murphy then advanced to third when Ruf lost his footing after catching the ball. With runners on the corners and two down, Welington Castillo blooped a single into right. Murphy scored and tied the game at two. With Lake at third and Castillo at first, McDonald grounded out to the hole at short for the third out. Lee threw 69 pitches, 45 for strikes, over the first three innings.

But the game did not remain tied for long. Rusin hit Kevin Frandsen with a 1-1 pitch to start the fourth inning. Bernadina grounded into a 3-6 fielder’s choice … the Cubs could not double up the speedy Bernadina. Cliff Lee tried to bunt Bernadina to second but bunted the ball right back to the mound. Rusin threw a strike to Castro to nail Bernadina at second but Lee hustled down the line and took over at first base.

Michael Young drove Rusin’s first pitch to right field. The ball hit off the sidewall and the inexperience of Cole Gillespie cost the Cubs a run. Gillespie got too close to the sidewall, the ball hit and bounced back toward the field. Gillespie tried to correct his route, slipped and Lee scored on what was ruled as a triple for Michael Young … 3-2 Phillies. Rusin walked Jimmy Rollins but retired Utley on a grounder to Rizzo to end the inning. Rusin threw 68 pitches, 41 for strikes, over the first four innings.

Starlin Castro reached on a two-out double to right in the fourth. Darwin Barney walked to put two on with two down for Anthony Rizzo. Lee retired Rizzo on a grounder to first for the third out. Lee needed 87 pitches, 53 for strikes, to complete four innings.

At the end of four complete, the Cubs trailed 3-2.

Chris Rusin issued a one out walk to Ruf in the fifth, but that was all. Rusin threw 84 pitches, 51 for strikes, in five innings of work.

Donnie Murphy led off the Cubs’ fifth with a double into the left field corner. Junior Lake pulled a 1-2 pitch into left past a diving Michael Young. Murphy held at third with no outs. Castillo struck out swinging with runners on the corners for the first out. Darnell McDonald worked a walk to load the bases. Cliff Lee jumped ahead of Gillespie 0-2. Cole Gillespie then lifted a 1-2 pitch into center. Murphy tagged and scored the tying run. Lake moved up to third and Dale Sveum sent up Cody Ransom to hit for Rusin with runners on first and third with two down. Ransom struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cubs made Cliff Lee throw 113 pitches, 71 for strikes, in five innings but were just 3-for-9 with RISP and left nine men on base in their first five at bats.

At the end of five innings, the game was tied at three.

Carlos Villanueva faced the minimum in the sixth. Pete Orr hit for Cliff Lee and reached on one-out single to left. Young worked a full count before lining out to Junior Lake in right center. Orr was running with the pitch and was doubled off first to end the inning.

Starlin Castro led off the sixth and launched a 1-0 pitch from Zach Miner to deep center. The ball ended up near the batter’s eye and Castro’s eighth longball of the season, and first since July 31, gave the Cubs a 4-3 lead. Darwin Barney followed with a single to center. Rizzo worked a 3-1 count before flying out to left for the first out. Barney swiped second on the first pitch to Lake after Murphy fouled out to Rollins for the second out. Lake worked a walk and Castillo stepped in with two on and two down. Castillo worked a full count before grounding out to third to end the inning.

At the end of six, the Cubs led 4-3.

Carlos Villanueva (Rollins), James Russell (Utley) and Blake Parker (Ruiz) retired the Phillies in order in the seventh … and the Cubs did nothing against Cesar Jimenez in the seventh.

Pedro Strop took the hill in the eighth with the Cubs up 4-3. With help from excellent catches by Cole Gillespie and Donnie Murphy, Strop retired the side in order in the eighth.

The Cubs did nothing against B.J. Rosenberg in the eighth … and Kevin Gregg took the hill for the ninth inning.

Michael Young singled to right with two down in the ninth. Anthony Rizzo made an excellent diving stop on a grounder in the hole and beat Jimmy Rollins to the bag to end the game.

The Cubs wrap up the series and season series with the Phillies on Sunday afternoon … Jake Arrieta vs. Kyle Kendrick in the finale.

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