8/30 Phillies 6, Cubs 5
It was a perfect homecoming for Ryne Sandberg at Wrigley Field, which has been anything but friendly to the Cubs this season. Back at the ballpark he called home for 15 seasons, Sandberg, now the Phillies interim manager, celebrated a 6-5 win over the Cubs on Friday. Michael Young had four hits, including a tiebreaking RBI single with two outs in the ninth, and Kevin Frandsen hit a game-tying home run in the seventh to lift the Phillies.
Last Friday in San Diego, the Cubs blew a six-run first inning lead in an 8-6 loss to the Padres. This time, they couldn’t hold a 5-0 lead after five innings. Chicago now is 25-42 at Wrigley, and are one of five teams with more wins on the road than at home.
“Twice in one week, to see this kind of game, and this one at home, with your big horse [Jeff Samardzija] on the mound, cruising along and all of a sudden he starts misfiring and gets the ball up [it's tough],” Dale Sveum said. “We can’t get a big hit to walk them off or get the chance. Michael Young hits the outfield grass [with his game-winning single] — we’re having trouble doing that at home.”
Sandberg, the Hall of Fame second baseman, received a nice ovation from the fans in his return to Wrigley. He took time to sign autographs, meet the media and say hello to old friends at the ballpark he called home from 1982-94 and again from 1996-97.
“It was good,” Sandberg said of the reception. “I heard it. A little tip of the hat to the crowd for that. And once I got up there with the umpires, we chatted a little bit. I asked them if they wanted me to take them around the ground rules.”
Sandberg not only could offer advice on how to deal with the hitter-friendly wind or the tough infield at Wrigley, but may have had a few suggestions about dealing with Samardzija, who was once on his Triple-A Iowa roster. The right-hander was shut down last Sept. 8 in his first season as a starter because the Cubs wanted to watch his innings. This year, the kid gloves are off. Friday was Samardzija’s career-high 28th start, and it included his 500th career strikeout, which he notched when he struck out Young in the third.
“Any time you get the early runs, you can be aggressive and attack the zone,” Samardzija said. “It allowed me to cruise through the middle innings. I obviously had the hiccup in the sixth.”
Anthony Rizzo and Nate Schierholtz each hit solo home runs. The Cubs added on in the fourth on Starlin Castro’s two-run double. Brian Bogusevic hit a RBi single in the fifth. But it wasn’t enough.
Pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen tripled to open the Phillies’ sixth and scored on Young’s second single of the game. Jimmy Rollins then singled, and he and Young scored on Chase Utley’s triple to pull within 5-3. Utley then tallied on Domonic Brown’s groundout.
Frandsen stayed in the game, and delivered a solo homer with two outs in the seventh to tie the game at 5.
The Cubs had runners at first and second and one out in the seventh but Zach Miner struck out Murphy. Bogusevic singled to right, and Dioner Navarro, who was on second, tried to score, but was thrown out at home.
“You think about pinch-running there, but at home, in the seventh inning, [Navarro] is coming up again, and unless it was to win a game, it’s tough to [lift him],” Sveum said.
“I knew they were going to send me, there were two outs, tie game,” Navarro said. “They told me he made a perfect throw to the plate. We couldn’t catch a break today.”
– Carrie Muskat