Instant Replay: Phillies 6, Cubs 4


Instant Replay: Phillies 6, Cubs 4


Placido Polancos two-run, two-out double in the bottom of the eighth gave the Phillies a 6-4 win over the Cubs and a split of their four-game series at Citizens Bank Park.

Polanco, who had just two RBIs all year, lined a pitch from reliever Rafael Dolis into the left-field corner, scoring Juan Pierre, who had been hit by a pitch, and Jimmy Rollins, who had singled.

It was Polancos first multiple-RBI hit since a grand slam off Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs at Citizens Bank Park last June 10.

Before Polancos double, the Phillies hadnt scored since a four-run first inning gave them a 4-0 lead. The Cubs tied the game with one in the seventh off of Vance Worley and three runs in the eighth off the Phillies bullpen.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his eighth save in eight chances.

Starting pitching report
Worley spun his third straight gem, allowing one run and five hits in seven innings. In his last three starts, Worley has pitched 20 innings, giving up 14 hits, two earned runs, walking six and striking out 21 with a 0.90 ERA.

Although the bullpen cost Worley a win, hes allowed just seven earned runs in 31 innings this year. He lowered his ERA from 2.16 to 1.97.

Cubs starter Chris Volstad, who hasnt won a game since last July, when he was with the Marlins, allowed four earned runs on five hits in the first inning before settling down. He allowed three hits and no runs after the first. Volstad threw 30 pitches in the first and 54 in the next five innings.

Bullpen report
The Phillies led, 4-1, going into the top of the eighth, when Antonio Bastardo and Chad Qualls allowed three runs.

After retiring Cubs rightfielder David DeJesus, Bastardo walked Tony Campana and was replaced by Qualls, who gave up a single to Starlin Castro and then a long two-run homer to right-center by Bryan LaHair.

Papelbon allowed a leadoff walk before pitching a scoreless ninth.

Qualls was credited with the win, despite allowing two runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning. It was the first win this year by the Phillies bullpen. Scott Maine, who gave up the first of the Phillies two eighth-inning runs, was charged with the loss.

At the plate
The Phillies hammered out five hits and four runs in their biggest first inning of the year. Rollins, Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, Carlos Ruiz and Pete Orr all had base hits, with Ruiz driving in two runs and Pence and Orr one apiece.

But after the four-run first, the Phillies managed no runs and just five hits the rest of the game.

Orr, making his sixth start of the year, went 2 for 3, boosting his average from .222 to .286. Rollins had his first two-hit game in eight days and only his second since April 15.

Polanco, hitting .196 four days ago, went 2 for 5 and is 7 for 16 in his last four games, raising his average to .250.

In the field
Polanco also made three terrific plays in the game, including one that helped Worley out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam.

In the third, he dove to his right to snag a hard-hit ball by Volstad and easily threw him out at first. In the fourth, Cubs centerfielder Campana tried to bunt his way on, but Polanco charged, bare-handed, and threw out Campana by a step. Then, with the bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh, he snared a half-hop on a shot to his right by Geovany Soto, kicked third and threw to first for a double-play.

Rollins also made an outstanding play in the third, going deep in the hole at short to field a shot by Soto, setting himself and firing a strike to first, where Ty Wigginton made a nice scoop on the short-hop.

On the bases
DeJesus opened the game with a booming hit off the right-field wall. He was thrown out by Pence trying to stretch the hit into a double, although TV replays showed DeJesus was safe by two feet.

Reliever David Herndon was placed on the 15-day disabled list after Monday's game with right elbow inflammation. The Phillies will make a corresponding roster move Tuesday.

With 45,327 tickets sold, the Phillies recorded their 214th consecutive regular-season sellout (230 in a row, including postseason).

Up next
The Phillies open a six-game road trip Tuesday night that will take them to Atlanta and Washington to face the two teams leading the NL East entering play Monday. The Braves and Nationals were both 14-8, four games ahead of the Phillies before Mondays games.

The Phils will face the Braves Tuesday and Wednesday evening and at 12:10 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Then theyre in Washington for three against the first-place Nationals -- Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and Sunday night.

Scheduled starters for the Braves series are Cole Hamels (3-1, 2.73) and Brandon Beachy (2-1, 1.05) Tuesday, Roy Halladay (3-2, 1.95) and Tommy Hanson (3-2, 3.00) Wednesday and Joe Blanton (2-3, 3.81) and Randall Delgado (2-2, 6.30) on Thursday afternoon.

E-mail Reuben Frank at

Chase Utley haunts Mets in Dodgers' rout at Citi Field


Chase Utley haunts Mets in Dodgers' rout at Citi Field

NEW YORK -- Chase Utley hit a grand slam and a solo homer after Noah Syndergaard threw a 99 mph fastball behind his back, and the Los Angeles Dodgers went deep a season-high five times in routing the New York Mets 9-1 on Saturday night.

In a scene that seemed inevitable since October, Syndergaard was immediately ejected following the third-inning pitch -- almost certainly his shot at retaliation against Utley for the late takeout slide that broke the right leg of then-Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada in last year's playoffs.

Plate umpire Adam Hamari tossed Syndergaard, sending Mets manager Terry Collins into a rage, but no trouble ensued between the teams. A longtime New York nemesis, Utley raised one hand slightly in the direction of the Dodgers' bench to keep teammates calm -- and later answered by doing all sorts of damage with his bat.

Kenta Maeda (4-3) shook off an early line drive that appeared to hit him in the pitching hand and threw five shutout innings for the win. The right-hander yielded two hits, both in the first, and snapped his three-game losing streak.

Adrian Gonzalez homered and had four hits for the Dodgers, who spoiled the Mets' 30th anniversary celebration of their 1986 World Series championship. Corey Seager and Howie Kendrick also connected, all after Syndergaard was gone.

Pinch-hitter Juan Lagares homered in the eighth for New York, long after the outcome was decided.

The stoic Utley is playing at Citi Field this weekend for the first time since Tejada was injured. The Mets -- and their fans -- were incensed by the aggressive slide, which led to a change in baseball rules this season designed to protect infielders in what some call the Utley Rule.

But the Mets had not tried to retaliate until Saturday night.

With one out and nobody on in the third inning of a scoreless game, Syndergaard's first pitch to Utley sailed behind the second baseman's back by a considerable margin.

Hamari immediately ejected Syndergaard, prompting Collins to come storming out of the dugout. Collins also was ejected after screaming at Hamari and pointing in his face during an animated argument. The manager was finally escorted back toward the New York dugout by another umpire.

After waiting near the mound with teammates for some time, Syndergaard walked calmly to the Mets' dugout without showing any emotion as the crowd cheered him.

Logan Verrett (3-2) entered for the Mets and, with a vocal contingent in the sellout crowd of 42,227 urging him to hit Utley with a pitch, eventually threw a called third strike past him. But then Utley homered on Verrett's first pitch of the sixth to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

Booed all night, Utley added his sixth career slam off Hansel Robles in the seventh, giving Los Angeles a 6-0 cushion with his 38th career homer against the Mets.

In the series opener Friday night, Utley was greeted with loud jeers and derisive chants. He had four RBIs in a 6-5 loss, including a three-run double that tied the score with two outs in the ninth.

Where are you now?
Tejada was released by the Mets during spring training and signed by the St. Louis Cardinals, who designated him for assignment Saturday.

Trainer's room
Dodgers: RF Trayce Thompson exited in the fifth with lower back soreness. He was replaced by Yasiel Puig, who hit an RBI single off Verrett in the sixth.

Mets: INF Wilmer Flores (hamstring) went 1 for 2 with a sacrifice fly in his fifth rehab game for Double-A Binghamton. Before the game, Collins said it was reasonable to think Flores could come off the disabled list Sunday.

Up next
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 1.48 ERA) starts the series finale Sunday night against 43-year-old Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.44). Kershaw, coming off a two-hit shutout against Cincinnati, is 7-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 10 starts against the Mets. He is 5-0 with a 0.64 ERA in May -- including a three-hit shutout of New York on May 12 at Dodger Stadium. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has struck out 55 and walked two this month.

Best of MLB: Blue Jays get walk-off win vs. Red Sox


Best of MLB: Blue Jays get walk-off win vs. Red Sox

TORONTO -- With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Toronto Blue Jays' repeated comeback efforts on Saturday were starting to look like they might come up agonizingly short.

But with Justin Smoak, Russell Martin and Devon Travis all facing consecutive two-strike counts against Boston Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, a four-time All-Star, an unlikely thing happened.

They all cashed in, and the Blue Jays walked off with a 10-9 victory, their fourth straight against Boston and their third walk-off win of the year.

"With the potency in our lineup, I feel like no lead is really big enough," said Martin, who went 3-for-5 and hit his third home run in four days in the sixth inning. "We can always find a way to get runners on and also if the other team makes a mistake, capitalizing on those mistakes. I think that was the key for us today. I think there was a couple miscues on defense for them and we were able to take advantage of that."

Martin kick-started the rally in the eighth that led Toronto back from a four-run deficit to tie the game at 8. But he really got things going in the ninth, with Ezequiel Carrera on as a pinch-runner for Smoak, doubling a fastball into left field to tie the game at 9 (see full recap).

Royals score 7 in 9th to beat White Sox; Perez hurt
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Brett Eibner wondered whether anything could surpass the Kansas City Royals' rally Friday night, when they overcome a four-run deficit to beat the Chicago White Sox in his major league debut.

He did not have to wait long to find out.

Eibner singled to cap the biggest ninth-inning comeback in Royals history, a seven-run rally off David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle that lifted the World Series champions over the Chicago White Sox 8-7 Saturday.

"I didn't think I could beat yesterday and, sure enough, we come around and do this," said Eibner, who also doubled to helped spark the inning. "It's super fun. There's nothing like it. I don't think I've ever experienced that."

Kansas City's Salvador Perez was injured in the ninth when third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert slid with a forearm and elbow into the left thigh of the All-Star catcher, who called off Chien-Ming Wang (3-0), settled under Adam Eaton's foul popup about 30 feet from the plate near the third-base line and snagged the ball just before he was hit.

Perez was taken for a MRI after the game and the extent of his injury was not announced. The preliminary diagnosis was a bruised left thigh (see full recap).

Braves beat Marlins to lock up first home series win
ATLANTA -- Braves interim manager Brian Snitker says Gordon Beckham is "bouncing around like he's a teenager."

That makes sense, because the return to his childhood hometown has helped Beckham add new life to his career.

Beckham hit a three-run homer, Nick Markakis drove in two runs and Atlanta beat the Miami Marlins 7-2 on Saturday to secure their first home series win of the season.

Beckham, 29, an Atlanta native and former University of Georgia standout, spent most of his first seven seasons with the Chicago White Sox before signing with the Braves as a free agent. He is hitting .317 while earning more starts at third base and second base than was expected at the start of the season.

"I feel good," Beckham said. "I enjoy putting on this uniform every day. It's a lot of fun for me, being from Atlanta."

The Braves improved to a still-dismal 4-20 at Turner Field by winning the first two games of the three-game series. Atlanta rallied from a 2-0 deficit for the second straight day (see full recap).

Pete Mackanin: Like Chicago Italian beef, Freddy Galvis is the best


Pete Mackanin: Like Chicago Italian beef, Freddy Galvis is the best

CHICAGO – Other than the Italian beef sandwiches from Portillo’s that he loves so much, Pete Mackanin hasn’t had much to feel good about during his trip to his hometown.
Mackanin’s rebuilding Phillies have been bulldozed by the powerful Chicago Cubs two days in a row (see game story) and have lost four of five games on a road trip that ends with one more in Wrigley Field on Sunday afternoon.
As difficult as it was to see his club get roughed up on Saturday, Mackanin was able to find a sliver of something good in the rubble of a 4-1 defeat.
“The highlight of the day was Freddy Galvis -- all day,” Mackanin said.
Mackanin listed all the things his 26-year-old shortstop did, from a tremendous relay throw to the plate to stop a run from scoring, to his two hustle plays that led to the Phillies’ only run in the ninth.
Galvis, who made several outstanding plays in the field on Friday, vowed to cut down on his errors after making 17 last season. He has just one in 48 games this season and Mackanin is more than impressed with the improvement.
“He’s making every play there is,” Mackanin said. “To me, if he’s not the best shortstop in the league, I’d like to see the guy that’s playing as consistent defense as he is.
“I’m thrilled with the way he’s playing. He’s playing hard and kind of taken a leadership role just with the way he goes about his business.”
Galvis has improved his defense by committing himself to concentrating for 27 outs and not getting careless on routine plays.
“I’ve been working with Larry Bowa on trying to set my feet and make the routine plays,” he said. “Don’t try to do too much. Just throw the ball, catch the ball and that’s it. So far, so good.”
Mackanin has made it clear that he expects his players to play hard and hustle. He made a huge statement to that effect when he benched his best player, Odubel Herrera, for not running out a ground ball in Detroit on Monday night.
So it was not surprising to see Mackanin heap praise on Galvis for his hustle in the top of ninth inning Saturday.
Galvis led off the inning with a pop up to right field. Outfielder Jason Heyward and second baseman Ben Zobrist got their signals crossed and the ball fell in. Galvis, running hard the whole way, ended up on second with a fluke double.
“That was huge the way he ran that out,” Mackanin said.
Galvis then moved to third on a ground ball and scored the Phillies’ only run on a risky base running play. Ryan Howard whiffed on a dropped third strike. As catcher Miguel Montero threw to first to complete the out, Galvis sprinted down the line and slid safely into home. He was able to get a huge jump because the Cubs shifted Howard and left third uncovered. Had Galvis been out at the plate, the game would have been over and it would have gone down as a bad play. But he made it and Mackanin loved it. 
“He hustled on a routine fly ball that turned into a double, advanced and scored on the throw to first after the strikeout – it made my whole day,” Mackanin said. “It burnt the shutout. I like to see a guy like that play with that kind of energy.”
Earlier in the game, Galvis was hit by a pitch on the right ankle. The pitch got him good and he hobbled to first base. But his dash for home in the ninth inning proved he was OK. Still, he wore an ice pack on the leg after the game. It was a noticeable enough ice pack that Galvis had to be asked whether he expected to play on Sunday.
“(Bleep) yeah,” he said.