Game Fifty-Six – Cubs 6, Phillies 4
WP – Jon Lester (7-3) LP – Adam Morgan (1-5) Save – Hector Rondon (11)
Jon Lester pitched eight innings of shutout ball. Lester doubled and scored on Jason Heyward’s 100th career home run. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo combined on six hits and three RBI. And Matt Szczur squeezed in a run. Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon served up homers in the ninth but the Cubs held on and beat the Phillies on Monday night.
Jon Lester put together another sensational outing. Lester gave up just four hits in eight innings with no walks and nine strikeouts on 95 pitches, 63 for strikes. Lester retired 18 of last 19 batters he faced and dominated the Phillies on Monday night. Lester alson contributed at the plate.
Jon Lester (1-for-4 with a double and a run scored) doubled with one out in the fourth and was on board when Jason Heyward (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) hit the 100th home run of his career.
Jon Lester turned the game over to the bullpen, reluctantly, after eight innings.
The Phillies scored four quick runs in the ninth off Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon before the first out was recorded. Freddy Galvis and Tommy Joseph went back-to-back. Galvis with a three-run shot off Grimm and Joseph a solo homer off Rondon. The Phillies put the tying run on first base. Rondon retired pinch-hitter Ryan Howard to end the game.
The Cubs offense scored six runs on 13 hits. And it could have been more. The Cubs were 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base.
Dexter Fowler (3-for-4 with a double, a HBP and two runs scored) scored the first run of the game on the first of two doubles on the night from Kris Bryant (3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and a RBI). Bryant and Anthony Rizzo (3-for-5 with two RBI) each had three hits and were a combined 6-for-10 with two doubles, two runs scored and three RBI. And Bryant scored the Cubs’ fifth run in the seventh inning on a perfectly executed safety squeeze by Matt Szczur (0-for-2 with a SAC RBI).
Jorge Soler (2-for-2) started the game but had to leave in the fourth inning after injuring his left hamstring. Soler singled to left and appeared to injury himself rounding first base. Soler has an MRI scheduled for Tuesday.
The Cubs jumped on Adam Morgan in the first inning and put a run on the board. But it should have been a lot more than just a single tally.
Dexter Fowler doubled to left center (1-1 pitch). Heyward popped out to short. Kris Bryant drove a 3-1 pitch out to right. The ball appeared to hit high off the wall. Fowler scored easily and Bryant pulled up at third with a standup triple. The umpires took a look because a fan leaned over the wall trying to catch the ball. After a rather lengthy review, the umps ruled fan interference and that Bryant had to go to second. So instead of a triple, Bryant ended up a second with a one out double.
Anthony Rizzo reached with a bloop single to left. Bryant could not advance. Jorge Soler ripped a 2-2 pitch back up the middle. Freddy Galvis made a diving stop and kept the ball in the infield. Bryant stopped at third. The Cubs had the bases loaded with one out. Javier Baez struck out swinging on three pitches. And Addison Russell struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
Jon Lester smoked a one-out double to center in the fourth inning. With the Cubs clinging to a 1-0 lead, Fowler struck out swinging and left it up to Heyward with two outs.
Jason Heyward gave Lester a little breathing room, plus did not make him really run the bases. Heyward pulled a 2-1 pitch from lefty Adam Morgan to right. The ball ended up in the stands and Heyward’s 100th career home run gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead. Bryant flied out to right to end the inning.
Jon Lester pitched a quick 1-2-3 bottom of the fourth. It took Lester only 54 pitches, 34 for strikes, to complete four innings.
The Cubs had a 3-0 lead after four innings.
Jon Lester did not allow the Phillies to reach base much less score in the fifth and sixth innings. Lester retired 13 in a row and the offense went to work against lefty Elvis Araujo in the seventh inning.
Dexter Fowler started the seventh with a single to center. Heyward flied out to deep left center. Kris Bryant singled to right on a 2-2 pitch and put runners on the corners with one down. Anthony Rizzo punched a 1-2 pitch to left and beat the shift. Fowler scored, 4-0 Cubs.
Matt Szczur stepped in and Elvis Araujo was called for a balk. Bryant and Rizzo moved up to second and third and Pete Mackanin brought his infield in.
Joe Maddon called for the safety squeeze. And Szczur executed perfectly. Bryant slid in safe at the plate and the Cubs took a 5-0 lead. With runners on the corners and one down, Baez tapped to Araujo on the third base side of the mound. Araujo flipped to Rupp and he tagged out Rizzo at the plate. Russell struck out swinging to end the inning.
Jon Lester faced the minimum in the seventh. And the game went to the eighth with the Cubs leading 5-0.
The Cubs could not tack on against Andrew Bailey in the eighth. Lester put another zero on the board in the home half. The Cubs took a 5-0 lead into the ninth inning.
Lefty Brett Oberholtzer started the ninth and was greeted by a double off the wall in left by Kris Bryant. Anthony Rizzo singled to right center. Bryant scored and the Cubs led 6-0. Szczur flied out to right. Baez struck out swinging and Russell flied out to right to end the inning.
Joe Maddon decided to go to his pen for the ninth inning with the Cubs leading 6-0. Lester made only 95 pitches in eight innings, but Maddon decided to make the move. And the Phillies made it a game rather quickly.
Justin Grimm gave up singles to pinch-hitter Andres Blanco and Cesar Hernandez. Freddy Galvis then cranked a three-run homer to right. With the Cubs lead cut in half to 6-3, Maddon went to his pen for Hector Rondon.
Tommy Joseph launched a homer to straight away center … 6-4 Cubs with no outs in the ninth. Rondon retired Franco on a grounder to third. Rupp was called out on strikes. Odubel Herrera hit for Tyler Goeddel and blooped a single to left. Pete Mackanin sent up Ryan Howard to hit for Peter Bourjos. Howard grounded Rondon’s first pitch to Rizzo to end the game.
With Monday’s win, the Cubs improved to 40-16 on the season.
Kyle Hendricks takes on Jerad Eickhoff in game two with the Phillies on Tuesday night (6:05pm CDT).