MLB

Halladay can't beat Cubs with no O from Phillies

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)

As great as Roy Halladay is, the Phillies ace can't win without run support.

The tepid Philadelphia offense failed to provide much help to the starting pitcher again in Friday's 5-1 loss to left-hander Paul Maholm and the Chicago Cubs.

Halladay (3-2) was unhittable at the start, retiring 10 straight batters with four strikeouts, but surrendered three runs on six hits in a three-inning stretch to fall to 1-5 lifetime against Chicago.

He allowed three runs on six hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

''We made good pitches the whole night,'' Halladay said. ''They were scrappy. They obviously have some speed and were able to capitalize on it.''

Ty Wigginton homered for Philadelphia, which has scored two runs or less in 11 of 20 games this season.

''We didn't do nothing to him,'' Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Maholm. ''That's how we've been on left-handers this year.''

The Phillies' offense, still missing injured All-Stars Chase Utley (knee) and Ryan Howard (Achilles'), didn't resemble the unit that tallied 20 runs while winning two of three at the Diamondbacks in their last series instead looking like the squad that has struggled for most of the season.

''Obviously it was a tougher night tonight at the plate but we need to look at the positives at things we did in Arizona and try and continue to do that and do it as consistently as we can,'' Halladay said. ''I'm a terrible hitter so I can't tell you what guys felt in Arizona and what they felt other times but it's just a matter of trying to build on the positives. We need to start doing it as soon as possible.''

Halladay said regardless of the offensive output, he wouldn't be affected.

''You worry about what you can control,'' he said. ''As a pitcher, really that's just trying to make pitches. Outside of that there's not a whole lot you have a hand in, whether it's offensively or defensively or where balls are hit. That's part of the game and you understand that.

Surely, Halladay and the Phillies would love the slugging Howard back in the lineup.

While there still is no timetable for his return from the Achilles injury that has sidelined him all season, Howard was examined by a doctor on Friday and said after the game that he hopes to begin baseball activities on Sunday in Clearwater, Fla.

''It's tough because you want to be out there,'' Howard said. ''At the same time, I have to make sure this is right. I have to make sure I'm 100 percent first. Right now I want to get back in Florida and get in the swing of things and see how my body reacts.''

Howard could have helped against Maholm (2-2), who pitched 6 1-3 solid innings and allowed a run on five hits with a strikeout and no walks while dropping his ERA from 8.36 to 6.20.

Starlin Castro had two hits and an RBI, and the speedy Tony Campana had two hits on balls that didn't leave the infield and scored twice for the Cubs.

''He had really good command of his fastball, but the biggest thing was when he needed the curveball he really had it,'' Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Maholm. ''He did a great job.''

Rafael Dolis pitched two scoreless innings for his first major-league save.

Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on Castro's bloop single to center that scored Campana. Castro is 6 for 12 against Halladay.

The Cubs scored two more runs in the sixth on RBIs by Alfonso Soriano and Ian Stewart. The three-run lead was more than enough for Maholm.

''I just went in knowing that I had to throw well because obviously (Halladay's) not going to give up a ton,'' Maholm said.

After Carlos Ruiz's second-inning double, Maholm retired 15 of the next 16 batters before Wigginton's homer to left with one out in the seventh. That hit ended the night for Maholm.

The Cubs tacked on two runs in the ninth off right-handed reliever Michael Schwimmer on Reed Johnson's RBI triple and David DeJesus' single.

NOTES: SS Jimmy Rollins went 0 for 4 for Philadelphia and has three hits in his last 37 at-bats. ... Wigginton extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a fourth-inning single. ... Despite many empty seats on a chilly, windy night, the Phillies announced their 211th straight regular-season sellout with a crowd of 45,261. ... Campana has five steals in his last four games. ... Philadelphia RHP Joe Blanton (1-3, 4.34) is scheduled to face Cubs RHP Randy Wells (0-0, 3.60) Saturday night in the second game of the four-game series.

Tagged: Cubs, Phillies, Roy Halladay, Ty Wigginton, Ryan Howard, Paul Maholm, Starlin Castro

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