Riding a 4 game win streak the Cubs (19-23) were looking to Ryan Dempster (2-4) to pitch them to a 2 game sweep of the Phillies (25-15).
Dempster had a 4 game streak himself but of the losing variety. He allowed a solo shot to Chase Utley in the 1st and then a 3 run shot to Jimmy Rollins in the 6th. Dempster’s line reads 6 innings allowing 4 runs on 5 hits while striking out 3 and walking 2.
The Cubs offense were being no hit until the 5th when Alfonso Soriano hit a double. Then the rest of the team started to get locked in. Starlin Castro (2 for 4) singled Soriano home for the Cubs’ 1st run.
Then in the 7th Derrek Lee hit his 5th home run (career number 298) cutting the lead to 2. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded Tyler Colvin hit a pinch hit sac fly to cut the deficit to 1 at 3-2 Phillies. The Cubs tied it in the 8th on a solo shot by Kosuke Fukudome (his 6th of the season).
Despite the rally, the tie didn’t last long thanks to a familiar problem: the bullpen.
Jeff Russell and Jeff Stevens combined for 1.1 innings of shutout ball. However, John Grabow (0-3) continued his struggles. The left hander took the loss surrendered the game winning run and allowed 2 walks along with a hit.
Chicago didn’t go quietly in the 9th however. Soriano was hit by a pitch by Philidelphia’s closer Jose Contreras. Next batter Mike Fontenot then singled to center, advancing Soriano to 3rd. The Cubs couldn’t push across the tieing run though. Castro and Aramis Ramirez (pinch hitting) both struck out for outs number 1 and 2 while Geovany Soto fouled out to end the game.
The Cubs split the 2 game set with the Phillies and will now travel to Texas to take on the Rangers in their 1st interleague games of the season.
Ted Lilly (1-3) will look to start a new win streak for the North-Siders while the Rangers (23-18) will send Colby Lewis (3-2) to the mound.