Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Raul Ibanez plated Chase Utley with a go- ahead single in the eighth inning, and the Phillies survived a shaky ninth by Jose Contreras to come away with a 5-4 win over the Cubs, securing a two-game series split.
Utley hit a solo homer and scored three times, while Jimmy Rollins had a three-run shot for Philadelphia, which had lost its previous two games.
“We have a good lineup, so everyone is looking for us to score seven, eight, nine runs a game,” Rollins said. “Sometimes you just have to find a way to get it done, and tonight we were able to.”
Derrek Lee and Kosuke Fukudome homered, while Starlin Castro went 2-for-4 with an RBI for Chicago, which was denied a season-best fifth straight victory.
Antonio Bastardo relieved Joe Blanton in the eighth to face Fukudome, who launched a 1-2 pitch into the right field seats to tie the game, 4-4.
Danys Baez (2-1) pitched the rest of the frame, and John Grabow (0-3) walked Utley and Rollins in the bottom half, the latter coming with two outs.
Ibanez followed with a base hit to right, and Fukudome’s throw home was slightly off target, allowing Utley to slide in safely.
Contreras plunked Alfonso Soriano to start the ninth, and a Mike Fontenot single put runners on the corners with no outs. The veteran bore down and fanned Castro and pinch-hitter Aramis Ramirez in succession before Geovany Soto fouled out to first to notch his second save of the season.
“We had a shot to tie it up, we just couldn’t get the guy in,” Lee said. “It was a well played game.”
The Phillies bullpen failed to hold the lead for Blanton, who yielded three runs on five hits and a walk in a seven-inning start. His counterpart, Ryan Dempster, was touched for four runs on five hits and a pair of walks in six innings.
Utley’s solo shot in the first — his 10th of the season — gave the Phillies an early lead.
Soriano doubled to open the fifth for Chicago’s first hit of the game, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Castro’s base hit to right.
Rollins broke the 1-1 tie in the sixth with a two-out, three-run homer to right, his first since coming off the disabled list earlier this week.
Lee quickly cut the deficit with a leadoff blast in the seventh, and the Cubs loaded the bases with a one-out walk and a pair of singles. Tyler Colvin hit a pinch-hit sacrifice fly to center for a 4-3 game before Blanton kept the damage to a minimum by retiring pinch-hitter Xavier Nady.
Both teams will start their first interleague series over the weekend, as Philadelphia welcomes Boston and Chicago heads to Texas, both on Friday…Dempster had lost his previous four starts…Ibanez and Placido Polanco each had two hits for the Phillies.