CHICAGO -- The Cubs’ bullpen gave up seven runs over the final two innings and the Phillies walked away with a 9-2 rout Tuesday.
HOW IT HAPPENED: This one was much closer than the final score indicated after the Phillies poured it on with six runs in the ninth inning with four coming on a Hector Luna grand slam. Alfonso Soriano hit his second home run in as many days, a two-run shot in the fourth inning, but the Phillies overcame the brief deficit. A half inning after falling behind, the Phillies tied it on an infield single from Shane Victorino to score pitcher Kyle Kendrick, who singled to open the fifth inning. The Phillies went ahead for good in the eighth inning on Carlos Ruiz’s home run off reliever Shawn Camp.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Cubs continue to get the starting pitching they need, anyway. Matt Garza gave up just two runs over 6 2/3 innings, but was pulled after 107 pitches. Cubs starters opened the day with a 3.78 ERA, ninth in the National League, but taking out Chris Volstad’s inflated numbers, they had a 3.09 mark. Volstad puts his 0-5 record and his 6.92 ERA to the test when he takes the mound Thursday against the Phillies.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: Make that two more awkward throws from Garza to first base, both on bunts from the Phillies' Juan Pierre. Garza, who has been having what can best be described as the yips when throwing to first, short-armed two balls into the dirt to first baseman Bryan LaHair. The first one, in the first inning, was ruled an error. The second one, in the third inning, earned Pierre a hit.
OFF BEAT: Perhaps it was the 14-pitch at-bat by Bryan LaHair that lulled Pierre into a relaxed state in left field. LaHair ended his monster duel with pitcher Kyle Kendrick by hitting a lazy fly ball to left field. But the ball hit off Pierre’s glove and fell to the turf, putting LaHair on base. Soriano followed with a two-run home run. Reaching by error does not count toward LaHair's on-base streak and it was snapped at 32 consecutive games.
UP NEXT: Cubs right-hander Chris Volstad (0-5, 6.92) will take the mound Thursday in the final game of the brief two-game series. He will be opposed by Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay (3-3, 3.20) in the 7:05 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.