Zach Eflin pitches into 8th inning, Phillies beat Cubs 6-1
CHICAGO (AP) When the wind is blowing in at Wrigley Field, it’s a green light for pitchers to get aggressive. That’s precisely what Zach Eflin did Tuesday night to produce his best outing of the season.
Williams had three RBIs and Eflin (2-2) allowed one run and eight hits in a season-high 7 2/3 innings on an unseasonably cool night with a 24 mph wind. The right-hander snapped a two-game skid for his first win since May 7.
”It makes you just want to go after them a little more,” Eflin said of the conditions.
”Just attacking the strike zone with all of my pitches, just keeping them off balance and pitching inside. I did that a lot more tonight and I was pretty successful doing that.”
Edubray Ramos recorded the last out in the eighth and Seranthony Dominguez got the final three outs – after Ramos walked the leadoff batter in the ninth – to extend his scoreless streak to 14 2/3 innings.
Anthony Rizzo had two hits and an RBI as Chicago’s four-game winning streak came to an end.
”We have to score runs with the wind blowing in and all that stuff,” Rizzo said. ”We had a couple opportunities and it just went their way.”
Kyle Hendricks (4-5) allowed five runs and five hits in five innings. He struck out five and tied a season high with three walks.
The Phillies grabbed the lead in the second when Williams crushed a high drive through the wind and into the right-field bleachers for a two-run shot.
Philadelphia added three more in the third as Hendricks displayed some uncharacteristic wildness. Carlos Santana drove in the first run with a bases-loaded walk. It was Hendricks’ second walk of the inning.
Aaron Altherr made it 4-0 with a sacrifice fly, and Williams capped the rally with an RBI groundout.
”Obviously, Kyle wasn’t on top of his game,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. ”Missing the plate, the home run early.”
Eflin’s only jam before the eighth came in the fourth when Rizzo led off with a single and Kyle Schwarber doubled one out later to put runners on second and third. Eflin struck out Javier Baez on a chin-high fastball and retired Albert Almora Jr. on a comebacker to end the threat.
”He’s a very aggressive hitter,” Eflin said of Baez. ”I know he’s more aggressive with runners on base and to be able to climb the ladder like that and get him to swing is what I wanted.”
Rizzo doubled to drive in a run with two outs in the eighth, spoiling the shutout bid.
Philadelphia got the run back in the ninth on Altherr’s RBI single.
After the first inning, the Cubs played a tribute to Phillies pitcher Jake Arrieta on the left-field scoreboard. Arrieta spent 4 1/2 seasons in Chicago before signing a $75 million, three-year contract with Philadelphia in March. He started Sunday in San Francisco and is not scheduled to pitch in the three-game series, the Phillies’ only visit to Chicago this season. ”It would have been really, really cool to get out on that mound again,” he said.
Baez said he was fine after diving into the front row of the stands to make a catch in the ninth. ”I didn’t hit anything hard,” he said. ”Just beer all over me.”
Phillies: INF J.P. Crawford (right forearm strain) was scheduled to play nine innings with Triple-A Lehigh Valley in the first game of a rehab assignment.
Cubs: RHP Yu Darvish (right triceps tendinitis) played catch before the game, but there’s still no timetable for his return from the DL. … SS Addison Russell (bruised left middle finger) had an MRI and was unavailable.
Cubs LHP Jose Quintana (6-4, 4.30 ERA) starts the second game of the series looking to turn around his struggles at Wrigley Field this season. Quintana has a 6.66 ERA in five home starts. RHP Aaron Nola (7-2, 2.18) goes for the Phillies. Nola has pitched into the seventh inning in each of his last two starts, allowing one run both times.
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