Harper leads way as Phillies hand Cubs 11th straight loss
CHICAGO (AP) — Bryce Harper can feel everything coming together for him and the rest of the Phillies’ lineup. At the moment, they are crushing the ball.
Harper homered and tied a career high with five hits, Andrew McCutchen smacked a grand slam and Philadelphia handed Chicago its 11th straight loss, beating the Cubs 15-10 on Tuesday night.
Rhys Hoskins also went deep. The Phillies jumped on Jake Arrieta (5-9) after beating Chicago 13-3 the previous night and finished two shy of a season high with 16 hits.
“I think we’re coming into our own as a team,” Harper said. “Everybody’s getting healthy. And we’re just looking forward to the next couple of games, getting into the All-Star break and enjoying our time down, coming back and get going.”
The Cubs, meanwhile, extended their worst skid since they dropped 12 in a row in May 2012. They remained winless since Zach Davies and three relievers combined to no-hit the Dodgers in Los Angeles on June 24. And with Arrieta failing to make it through the second inning in his second straight start, they fell into a huge hole.
Harper hit his seventh homer in 13 games when he crushed a three-run drive in the seventh, extending the lead to 15-4. He finished with a season-high four RBIs.
McCutchen, the game’s fourth batter, smacked his third career grand slam and second this season in the first inning.
Hoskins chased Arrieta with a two-run double in the second, making it 7-0, and hit the left-field scoreboard with a drive leading off the seventh. Jean Segura chipped in with four hits and four runs.
“They’re putting up runs like crazy,” said Aaron Nola, who threw six innings. “I feel like every time I looked up, somebody was on base, somebody was getting a hit, walk, home run. They’re pretty cool, man. Guys are battling up there, and that’s what happens when you battle.”
Nola (6-5) went six innings, allowing four runs and six hits. He struck out eight and walked one, and the Phillies withstood a shaky effort by their struggling bullpen.
Arrieta matched the second-shortest start of his career, lasting just 1 2/3 innings in his second straight outing. He gave up seven runs, tying a season high, and six hits after getting pounded in Chicago’s 15-7 loss at Milwaukee last week.
The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner is 0-5 with a 9.67 ERA in eight starts since winning at Pittsburgh on May 25. Even so, the 35-year-old right-hander insisted he is not finished as a productive pitcher.
“The stuff is too good,” he said. “I still have a lot left in the tank, there’s no question about that. The stuff plays. The execution’s not there. It hasn’t been for awhile. But I’ve been in similar situations in my career. I’ve been in worse situations than this.”
Manager David Ross, Arrieta’s teammate with the Cubs in 2015 and 2016, thinks “there is a better version of him in there somewhere.” But it’s not clear what he will do with that rotation spot.
“I’ve got to look at that,” Ross said. “We got a lot going on, 11 losses in a row. I think there’s a lot to look at. I’ll wrap my brain around this one tonight and try to attack the problems in the morning.”
Javier Báez hit two homers, giving him three in the past two games and 21 on the season. Robinson Chirinos added a solo shot in the ninth. But the Cubs committed three errors.
Former All-Star infielder Dee Strange-Gordon has opted out of his minor league contract with the Cubs. He played in 27 games for Triple-A Iowa after signing in late May.
Cubs: The Cubs placed INF Eric Sogard (bruised left thumb) and RHP Kohl Stewart (right elbow inflammation) on the 10-day injured list. The team also activated RHP Trevor Williams and recalled INF Sergio Alcántara from Triple-A Iowa. Williams threw 3 2/3 innings after being sidelined since May 26 because of appendicitis and will work out of the bullpen for now, manager David Ross said. … RHP Ryan Tepera (strained left calf) is on track to be activated Friday when he’s eligible, Ross said.
The Phillies send All-Star RHP Zack Wheeler (6-4, 2.05 ERA) to the mound, while the Cubs go with RHP Alec Mills (3-2, 4.85). Wheeler pitched shutout ball into the eighth Friday in a 10-inning, 4-3 win over San Diego. Mills is coming off a tough-luck loss at Cincinnati last week, when the Reds beat the Cubs 2-1.
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