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Cubs, Garza dominate Phillies

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Cubs, Garza dominate Phillies

PHILADELPHIA -- Matt Garza pitched one-hit ball for seven shutout innings and struck out 10 Sunday as the Chicago Cubs beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1. Garza (2-1) gave up a pop-fly single to Jimmy Rollins leading off the first and nothing more. Garza retired 20 of the next 21 batters, with Juan Pierre's seventh-inning walk accounting for the only other baserunner. After reliever Rafael Dolis pitched a perfect eighth, Cubs closer Carlos Marmol was shaky in the ninth. Marmol walked a pair and Hunter Pence's infield single with two outs loaded the bases. Marmol then walked Ty Wigginton to force home a run before getting Shane Victorino on a game-ending groundout. Besides Rollins' single, the Phillies didn't have anything even close to a hit off Garza, who was lifted after 103 pitches. Joe Mather homered and Bryan LaHair doubled twice for the Cubs. Jeff Baker and Tony Campana each added two hits.

Kyle Kendrick (0-2), making his second start in place of injured left-hander Cliff Lee, allowed two earned runs and five hits in six innings. He matched his career high with seven strikeouts. Once again, the Phillies' short-handed offense wasn't able to provide much run support for its starters. Philadelphia has scored two runs or less in 12 of 22 games this season. The Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the second on Ian Stewart's groundout that scored LaHair. Chicago could have tallied more, with runners on second and third with one out, but Kendrick struck out Welington Castillo and Garza to escape further trouble. Chicago tacked on a run in the third, thanks to the speed of Campana. After he singled, Campana went to second when Laynce Nix failed to catch Kendrick's throw on a pickoff attempt, then to third on Darwin Barney's groundout. Campana scored on Starlin Castro's fly ball to medium right field, just beating the strong throw of Pence. Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel came out to argue the safe call of plate umpire Bill Miller, but replays appeared to confirm the call was correct. Mather's line-drive homer to left with two outs in the fourth put Chicago up 3-0. Campana's speed showed up again in the eighth when he reached on an infield single, stole second went to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Castro's grounder that didn't even reach the infield dirt. NOTES: -- The crowd of 45,550 was Phillies' 229th straight sellout, including postseason play.-- Wigginton went 0 for 3, ending his 13-game hitting streak.-- Garza has pitched eight complete games and three shutouts in 154 career starts, including a no-hitter on July 26, 2010 as a member of Tampa Bay against Detroit.
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A series to forget: Facts and figures from Cubs' rough weekend in Cincinnati

A series to forget: Facts and figures from Cubs' rough weekend in Cincinnati

The Cubs and their fans may want to invent and use one of those Men In Black neuralyzers because the four-game series in Cincinnati was one to forget.

The Reds finished off a four-game sweep of the Cubs on Sunday with an 8-6 win. The way the Reds won the finale will be especially painful for the Cubs considering they led 6-1 after six innings. Mike Montgomery appeared to tire in the seventh inning and Pedro Strop got rocked out of the bullpen to lead to a seven-run seventh for the hosts.

The Reds have now won seven in a row and 10 of 12, but still sit 13 games under .500. Bizarrely, the Reds also swept the Dodgers, the Cubs’ next opponent, in a four-game series in May. Duane Underwood will start for the Cubs Monday against the Dodgers and make his major league debut.

Here are some other wild facts and figures from the series:

  • The last time the Reds swept the Cubs in a four-game series was back in 1983. That was the first week of the season and three weeks before the infamous Lee Elia rant.
  • One positive for the Cubs from the game was Montgomery’s start. Through six innings he allowed one run on three hits and two walks. However, he gave up a single, a double and a single in the seventh before Strop relieved him. Montgomery had gone six innings and allowed one run in each of his last four outings.
  • Strop was definitely a negative. On his first pitch, Strop gave up a home run to pinch-hitter Jesse Winker, the second home run for a Reds pinch-hitter in the game. Then Strop allowed a single, a walk, a single and a double before getting an out. Strop’s final line: 2/3 inning pitched, four runs, one strikeout, three walks, four hits.
  • The Cubs led in three of the four games this series, including two leads after five innings.
  • The Cubs were 5-for-23 (.217) with runners in scoring position in the series. On the season the Cubs are hitting .233 with RISP, which is 22nd in the majors and fourth-worst in the National League (but ahead of the division-rival Brewers and Cardinals).
  • The Reds outscored the Cubs 31-13 and scored at least six runs in every game. The Reds are now 6-3 against the Cubs this year after going a combined 17-40 against the Cubs from 2015-2017.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 32nd homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 32nd homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa victimized the Tigers pitching staff again on the next night, taking Brian Moehler deep in the 7th inning for a 400-foot solo blast.

The homer tied the game at 3, but the Cubs blew the lead in the bottom of the 7th when the Terrys (Adams and Mulholland) gave up 3 runs. The Cubs wound up losing 6-4.

The Cubs were putting together a really nice season in 1998 that ended with a trip to October. They entered the series with the Tigers with a 42-34 record, yet lost both games to a Detroit team that entered the series with a 28-45 record. The Tigers finished the season 65-94; the Cubs finished 90-73.

Fun fact: Luis Gonzalez was the Tigers left fielder and No. 5 hitter for both games of the series. He spent part of the 1995 season and all of '96 on Chicago's North Side. 1998 was his only year in Detroit before he moved on to Arizona, where he hit 57 homers in 2001 and helped the Diamondbacks to a World Series championship with that famous broken-bat single in Game 7.

Fun fact  No. 2: Remember Pedro Valdes? He only had a cup of coffee with the Cubs (9 games in 1996 and 14 in '98), but started in left field on June 25, 1998. He walked and went 0-for-1 before being removed from the game for a pinch-hitter (Jose Hernandez).