Cubs 4, Phillies 1
Lilly gave up three hits in eight innings, and the Cubs beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 Sunday to stop a three-game losing streak.
A day after the Cubs lost 11-7, Lilly (3-2) outdueled Jon Lieber (1-2).
“He gave us eight extraordinary innings, really exception stuff,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said of Lilly. “He’s been very consistent so far this season, and we needed an outing like that one.”
Alfonso Soriano went 0-for-4 with a walk, ending the longest hitting streak of his career at 20 games.
Lilly retired 13 of his first 14 batters and didn’t allow a hit until Abraham Nunez slapped a ground single through the right side of the infield with two outs in the fifth. Lilly retired his next seven batters, then gave up a leadoff single in the eighth to Wes Helms.
Michael Bourn pinch ran and took third on Nunez’s single. Carlos Ruiz followed with a soft liner to third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who made the catch but threw wide to first trying to double up Nunez. Bourn scored on the error, cutting Philadelphia’s lead in half. Pinch-hitter Shane Victorino then flied out and Jimmy Rollins lined out.
Lilly gave up one run, struck out six and walked one in his longest outing this season.
“I’ve been able to keep the ball in the zone and make them swing the bats on a more consistent basis this year,” Lilly said.
Lilly lowered his ERA to 2.53 and has allowed 40 hits and eight walks in 53 1-3 innings. His two defeats were 1-0 to Cincinnati and 2-1 to St. Louis.
“Everybody want to see results and get wins but I’m just trying to stay consistent,” Lilly said.
Lilly frustrated the Phillies so much that Chase Utley and Jason Werth were among several players who switched from special pink Mother’s Day bats during the game and went back to their regular lumber.
“He had all three pitches working and had a really good slider,” Aaron Rowand said. “We couldn’t get anything going offensively.”
Ryan Dempster pitched the ninth for his eighth save in nine chances, completing the four-hitter.
Lieber, who had his start pushed back from Friday because of a cut on his pitching hand, gave up nine hits—eight of them singles—in eight innings.
“Some balls just found a hole,” Lieber said. “It’s a tough loss. Guys are busting, trying to win as badly was I do.”
Chicago took a 2-0 lead in the fourth on run-scoring singles by Matt Murton and Cesar Izturis. Nunez made a costly throwing error at third that allowed Ramirez to reach on a grounder. Murton singled and, two outs later, Izturis squibbed a grounder just inside the third-base bag and into left field.
Izturis and Murton each had their second three-hit game of the series. Izturis was 7-for-10 and Murton went 6-for-10 with a homer and four RBIs in the three games.
Chicago strung together four straight singles in the sixth but failed to score a run. Murton was thrown out at the plate by Pat Burrell when he tried to score on Michael Barrett’s single to left. It was Burrell’s fifth assist of the season.
“Tacking on those runs was big,” Piniella said.
Philadelphia dropped to 5-10 in games opponents started left-handed pitchers.
“We’ve had a little trouble with lefties,” Manuel said.
Chicago 1B Derrek Lee left the game in the second inning with neck spasms. Lee, who grounded into a double play in his only at-bat, is day to day. … The Phillies lead the majors with 18 outfield assists, including 12 in their last 19 games. … Murton was busy in right field, recording six putouts.