The Phillies struck early, padded a bit and held the lead, beating the Cubs 5-3 and splitting the four-game series in Chicago. The win kept the Phils a game back of the Mets in the National League East.
Good news came through early, when the Phils learned Carlos Zambrano was scratched for having a tired arm. The offense took advantage off emergency starter Sean Marshall, scoring three in the first inning. The big hit of the the inning: A two-run double by Jayson Werth. And he added to it, launching a solo home run in the fifth. He went 2-for-4 with three RBI in the game, finishing a sizzling series (7-for-13) in Chi-town. The rest of the offense had a nice day — Ryan Howard drove in a run and had three hits; Shane Victorino had two hits; Chase Utley added two more.
Jamie Moyer got the win, going 5.1 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits while striking out four. Behind him, the bullpen was clutch. Chad Durbin bridged the start to the finish, going a strong two innings and escaping trouble in the sixth. While the Cubs scored on JC Romero in the eighth, Ryan Madson struck out Alfonso Soriano to defuse the rally.
Brad Lidge grabbed his 33rd save in as many chances with three quick outs.
A huge win, and a huge salvage to a four-gamer that started terribly. I’ll say this, however: The Phils absolutely outplayed the Cubs in this series. They could’ve and should’ve won every game. But take this win, take the split, and go into Washington (and our Labor Day bus trip) feeling pretty good about how September lines up.
Associated Press photo