Chicago Cubs push across run in 13th inning to down Philadelphia Phillies

By Jack McCarthy, The Sports Xchange
Chicago Cubs push across run in 13th inning to down Philadelphia Phillies
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher John Lackey pitches. File photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo

CHICAGO -- Albert Almora Jr. was already on the run from second base as teammate Matt Szczur slapped a 13th-inning infield grounder.

Almora's target was home plate and a game-winning run if Szczur's grounder didn't turn into an inning-ending double play.


Ben Zobrist was forced at second base but shortstop Freddy Galvis' errant throw to first was off target, allowing the aggressive Almora to score to give the Chicago Cubs a 5-4, extra-inning victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.

It provided the Cubs with their 10th come-from-behind win of the season.

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Galvis suspected the throw was off as he released the ball.

"I tried to make a straight throw and I just threw it off target," he said. "It's really frustrating. Today I made two mistakes and we lose the game. Of course I'm going to feel bad."


There were earlier opportunities for both teams to jump ahead -- including bases loaded with Cubs in the bottom of the 12th -- but no runs scored.

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"There's no doubt throughout the clubhouse that we wanted to come out with a win and we did," said Cubs shortstop Addison Russell. "We could look back at the game and say 'we messed up here, we messed up there' but overall the team played fantastic."

Cubs reliever Koji Uehara (1-2) -- Chicago's eighth pitcher of the day -- had a one-two-three 13th and earned the victory as the Cubs (16-12) won their third straight and took three of four in the series.

"The motto is on our (World Series) ring: we don't quit," said Cubs manager Joe Maddon.

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Left-handed reliever Joely Rodriguez, the fourth Phillies' pitcher of the day, worked 2 2/3 innings and took the loss as the Phillies (12-15) finished a seven-game road trip with just one victory.

"We knew what we were up against going on this road trip -- the Dodgers and the Cubs -- both formidable teams," said Phillies manager Pete Mackanin. "We beat the Cubs pretty handily the first night and had chances to win the next three games. We played them well, we just fell short."


Phillies starter Zach Eflin worked seven innings while Cubs veteran John Lackey went five, but neither had a decision.

Cesar Hernandez went 4-for-7 with two runs scored for the Phillies. Kris Bryant led the Cubs with a 4-for-5 afternoon with a walk.

The Cubs led 1-0 in the first as Russell doubled to deep right with two outs to score Bryant. Szczur's two-out second-inning double brought home Almora for a 2-0 lead.

The Phillies got one back on Aaron Altherr's two-out single to right, scoring Hernandez from second. Maikel Franco tied the game at 2-2, leading off the fourth inning with a first-pitch home run to left and his team-leading fifth of the season.

Philadelphia had Altherr at second and Hernandez at third with one out in the fifth and took a 3-2 lead as Franco's fielder's choice grounder to third brought home Hernandez.

The Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the fifth and forced a 3-3 tie as Miguel Montero's sacrifice fly to center brought home Jon Jay.

Lackey departed after five innings, and was replaced by left-hander Brian Duensing. Lackey allowed three runs on nine hits, struck out six and walked none.


Cubs right-hander Justin Grimm entered in the seventh, loaded the bases and was pulled in favor of right-hander Pedro Strop, who struck out Tommy Joseph to end the threat.

Eflin worked seven innings, allowing three runs on nine hits while striking out one.

"It went all right," said Eflin, who remains winless. "It's an aggressive ballclub over there. I just really had to bear down and battle. I really had to work for it."

Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp slugged a go-ahead solo home run in the eighth inning for a temporary 4-3 lead. Montero, the Cubs catcher, replied with a one-out bases empty home run to center to force a 4-4 tie.

The Cubs had the potential game-winning runners at second twice in the ninth inning but Zobrist was picked off and Jay was stranded there as Anthony Rizzo grounded to the pitcher for a final out.

Chicago had the bases loaded with one out in the 12th, but Willson Contreras grounded into an inning-ending double play.

NOTES: Philadelphia failed to score in the first inning for the first time in four games. The Phillies have 28 first-inning runs to date, tied with Milwaukee for the major league lead entering Thursday night. ... The Phillies are back home on Friday to open a three-game weekend series against Washington. Philadelphia sends RHP Nick Pivetta (0-1, 3.60 ERA) against Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (2-1, 3.09 ERA). ... The Cubs host the Yankees for a three-game weekend series beginning on Friday afternoon as RHP Michael Pineda (3-1, 3.14 ERA) goes against Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (2-1, 4.18 ERA). ... Three ex-Cubs will be among the returnees, including former NL All-Star shortstop Starlin Castro and relief pitchers Aroldis Chapman and Mike Ward. Both pitchers will receive 2016 World Series rings from the Cubs this weekend. ... C Willson Contreras has caught six runners trying to steal, tied for third most in baseball behind Cleveland's Yan Gomes and Cincinnati's Tucker Barnhart with seven apiece.


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