Rapid Reaction: Phillies 5, Cubs 2
PHILADELPHIA -- The timely hitting of the series opener was barely there as the Cubs fell 5-2 to the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday and are now even at a game apiece in the four-game series.
How it happened: Cruising into the fourth inning, Randy Wells watched it get away when he gave up four runs on three hits and three walks, including a free pass to opposing pitcher Joe Blanton. Wells had not allowed a hit through the first three innings. Timely hitting was what the Cubs did best in winning three of four before Saturday, but the only thing clutch in this one was Bryan LaHair’s two-out RBI double in the first inning.
What it means: If Wells had any hope of remaining on the roster when Ryan Dempster returns from the disabled list Thursday, that chance was probably dashed Saturday. Wells would probably remain the first choice to be called again if the rotation had a need, although Rodrigo Lopez is at Iowa stretching himself out in the rotation, while Travis Wood continues to rebound from a rough spring training.
Outside the box: The production keeps coming from LaHair anyway. The slugging first baseman has now reached base safely in a team high 17 games after his double. He has also driven in a run in four consecutive games and seven of his last eight. Even more numbers to add to the pile: LaHair has 12 RBIs in his last 12 games since hitting a grand slam April 13 at St. Louis.
Off beat: It seemed to be a rare occurrence when Tony Campana advanced from just second to third base on a single to left field by Darwin Barney in the eighth inning. But as Campana has done lately, he ended up scoring anyway on a Stalin Castro fielder’s choice. Campana, who did not start, had come in as a pinch hitter and drilled a single just past the outstretched glove of Jimmy Rollins at shortstop. He has hit safely in six of seven games since being recalled and is 7-for-16 (.438) against right-handed pitching.
Up next: The Cubs will send right-hander Matt Garza (1-1, 3.38 ERA) to the mound Sunday in the only day game of the four-game series. The Phillies will oppose him with right-hander Kyle Kendrick (0-1, 9.39) in the 12:35 p.m. CST start from Citizens Bank Park.