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Monday, April 30, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Phillies 6, Cubs 4

By Doug Padilla

PHILADELPHIA -- The Chicago Cubs went into an early hole, then dug themselves out only to watch the Philadelphia Phillies pull out a 6-4 win in the late innings Monday as the clubs split the four-game series.

How it happened: The Cubs came to life in the eighth inning to tie the game 4-4, but the Phillies grabbed the lead right back again in the bottom of the inning on a two-run double from Placido Polanco. Chris Volstad gave up four runs in the first inning but settled down the rest of the way. Rafael Dolis, who the Cubs are trying to ease into setup duties, gave up the go-ahead double. Bryan LaHair tied the game in the eighth in a two-run home run, his fifth, and went 7-for-15 in the series.

What it means: The Cubs continue to be suspect out of the bullpen and any tight game is an edge-of-your-seat ride. The Cubs outfield was shaded toward right with two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth inning but Polanco ripped his hit to the area of straight-up left field that Alfonso Soriano had vacated, suggesting that Dolis missed his spot by a large margin. Kerry Wood returns from the disabled list later this week but isn’t expected to return to his setup role right away.

Outside the box: Starlin Castro entered play Monday tied for the National League lead in steals at 10. But teammate Tony Campana, who has only been on the roster for 11 days, moved closer to catching him. Campana stole his seventh base in the eighth inning and was on his way to another at third base when Castro singled on the pitch. Campana scored easily on the hit.

Off beat: Soriano finally hit one over the wall. Yes, it was only a ground-rule double in the seventh inning, but for the first time all season Soriano got one to clear the fences in some capacity. He still has no home runs, obviously, and the double was just his second extra-base hit of the season. He did end up scoring after his double and the Cubs tied it an inning later.

Up next: The Cubs will send right-hander Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 4.13 ERA) to the mound in the opener of a three-game series at Cincinnati on Tuesday. The Reds will counter with right-hander Bronson Arroyo (1-0, 2.70) in the 6:10 p.m. start from Great American Ball Park.