CHICAGO (AP) — Pinch hitters Willson Contreras and Matt Szczur had consecutive two-out RBIs in the sixth inning, helping the Chicago Cubs edge the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 on Wednesday night.
Another rally by Chicago handed a win to Jake Arrieta (4-1), who finished strong after continuing the Cubs’ trend of bad first innings. Wade Davis worked the ninth for his seventh save in seven tries after being acquired in an offseason trade with Kansas City.
Maikel Franco got Philadelphia within one with an RBI single in the eighth, but the Cubs bullpen closed the door. Hector Rondon got Odubel Herrera to strike out swinging on a full count to end the inning.
With one out and a runner on second in the ninth, Davis got Andrew Knapp to fly out to center and struck out Tommy Joseph to end the game.
Philadelphia right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (0-3) allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Arrieta was tagged for two runs in the first on an RBI single from Franco and a run-scoring double by Herrera, both with two outs.
Cubs starting pitchers now have an ERA of 11.00 in the first inning, by far the worst in the majors. After the first, the unit has an ERA of 3.25.
Arrieta helped his own cause with a run-scoring groundout in the second, driving in Jason Heyward.
Freddy Galvis hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth for the Phillies, but the Cubs grabbed the lead for good with four in the sixth.
Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist started the rally with singles, and then Heyward dropped a single to left field to make it 3-2. After a passed ball by Knapp put runners on second and third, Contreras doubled into the left-field corner. Szczur, batting for Arrieta, followed with an RBI single that gave Cubs a 5-3 lead.
Phillies: Manager Pete Mackanin said RHP Aaron Nola was sent to Philadelphia to undergo an MRI on Thursday on his strained lower back. “He’s been showing that he’s getting better, but there’s still something there, so we’re going to look at it,” Mackanin said, adding that Nick Pivetta likely will take Nola’s scheduled start on Friday. Nola hasn’t pitched since April 20. … Mackanin said OF Howie Kendrick (oblique) had been hitting off a tee and could be nearing a return to the lineup.
Cubs: NL MVP Kris Bryant had two hits one night after he was lifted for a pinch hitter because of a sore calf on Tuesday night.
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin (0-0, 1.89 ERA) will look for another solid start in Thursday’s series finale. He has allowed four earned runs in 19 innings through three starts this year.
Cubs: RHP John Lackey (2-3, 5.10 ERA) will try for his ninth quality start in his 10th career outing against the Phillies.
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