Cubs top Phillies, Wheeler 8-3 to end 11-game slide
CHICAGO (AP) — Anthony Rizzo, Joc Pederson and Nico Hoerner each had two hits and an RBI to help the Chicago Cubs beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-3 on Wednesday night, ending an 11-game losing streak.
The Cubs raced to an early five-run lead off All-Star Zack Wheeler and then added on to halt their longest skid since a 12-game slide in May 2012. Chicago had been winless since Zach Davies and three relievers combined to no-hit the Dodgers in Los Angeles on June 24.
“It feels good,” Rizzo said. “We’re at the highest level of the game and we’re competitors and we all compete at everything. You lose 11 in a row or 10 or whatever and it just sucked.
“To win is a good feeling. It’s the feeling you want.”
Patrick Wisdom added a two-run double in Chicago’s three-run sixth inning after replacing third baseman Kris Bryant, who left in the fourth with right hamstring tightness. Bryant is out day-to-day, manager David Ross said.
Ross thought the Cubs might have picked up offensively where they left off Tuesday when they started scoring late in a 15-10 loss to Philadelphia.
“You get a little bit of momentum from last night and it started to carry over,” Ross said. “A lot of guys were just staying up the middle, using the big part of the field and good things happen against a really good pitcher.”
This time, the Cubs pitched much better themselves.
Alec Mills (4-2) allowed three runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings after Philadelphia clobbered Cubs pitchers for 28 runs in the first two games of the series.
Mills shut out the Phillies through the first five innings before Bryce Harper doubled in a run and Andrew McCutchen followed with a two-run drive in the sixth for his second homer in two nights.
Wheeler (6-5) yielded seven runs, four earned, on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings on a cool, drizzly night at Wrigley Field. The hard-throwing right-hander entered on a dominant run, having allowed no runs in his last two starts and just three in his last five — all in a game to Washington on June 22.
Chicago scored three unearned runs off Wheeler in the first on an error and soft four soft singles, including consecutive RBI bloops with two outs by Jason Heyward, Hoerner and Rafael Ortega.
“That’s what you’re shooting for is weak contact,” Wheeler said. “That’s frustrating for sure.
“Sometimes that the way the ball rolls. Tonight wasn’t very fun.”
Following a 12-minute rain delay, the Cubs upped their lead to 5-0 in the second. Rizzo’s triple to the right-field corner — the first hard hit off Wheeler — knocked in the first run.
After the Phillies cut it to 5-3 in the sixth, the Cubs replied with three runs in the bottom half on a single by Pederson and Wisdom’s double to the left field corner.
The Cubs benefitted from two video reviews that overturned plays.
Bryant initially was called out at second base in the first after Willson Contreras lined to second baseman Jean Segura and Segura flipped the ball to shortstop Didi Gregorius, who sprinted across the bag for an apparent inning-ending double play
But Bryant was ruled safe after the review showed he dived back to the base before Gregorius stepped on it. The Cubs went on to score three runs.
“We gave them the extra out and it turned into three runs,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “The hardest ball hit was an out that inning.”
In the sixth, Philadelphia’s Alec Bohm was called safe at second after Wisdom’s fielding error. But Bohm was ruled out to end the inning when video showed he lost contact with the bag on his slide as Hoerner swiped him.
ARRIETA TO IL
The Cubs placed struggling right-hander Jake Arrieta on the 10-day injured list Wednesday with right hamstring tightness and recalled righty Cory Abbott from Triple-A Iowa.
Arrieta, the 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner, is 0-5 with a 9.67 ERA in eight starts since winning at Pittsburgh on May 25. In a 15-10 loss the Phillies on Tuesday, lasted just 1 2/3 innings for his second straight outing and yielded seven runs and six hits.
For the season, Arrieta is 5-9 with a 6.30 ERA in 17 starts. Manager David Ross said a stint on the IL will give the 35-year-old a chance to address the hamstring issue that has been bothering him since late May.
Cubs: SS Javier Báez, who leads the Cubs with 21 homers, was a last-minute scratch with a sprained right thumb. He’s out day to day. Sergio Alcántara took Báez’s place.
Phillies RHP Zach Eflin (3-6, 4.13 ERA) faced Cubs RHP Albert Alzolay (4-8, 4.48 ERA) in the series finale on Thursday night.