Bryson Stott broke a scoreless tie with his pinch-hit, two-run homer in the seventh inning, and the Philadelphia Phillies got a solid outing from starter Taijuan Walker on short rest, to win 2-1 over the visiting Chicago Cubs in Sunday’s decisive three-game series finale.
Philadelphia managed just four hits through six innings against Chicago starter Justin Steele but broke through with the left-hander out of the game.
With one out in the seventh, Edmundo Sosa doubled off the Cubs’ Adbert Alzolay (1-3), then Stott, batting for Josh Harrison, barely cleared the high scoreboard wall in right field for the game’s first runs. The 2-0 cushion proved enough to send the Phillies to a second straight victory after losing five straight.
Walker, meanwhile, delivered an impressive bounce-back effort after giving up four runs in two-thirds of an inning at San Francisco on Wednesday. The right-hander lasted 5 1/3 innings, yielding singles to Dansby Swanson and Seiya Suzuki for two of Chicago’s three hits, plus three walks, while striking out three.
Steele had allowed on Tuesday a season-high five runs while dealing with flu-like symptoms over six innings of a 7-3 loss at Houston. But he was much more efficient on Sunday. He surrendered four hits with a walk and struck out six to record his eighth quality start of the season while lowering his ERA to 2.20.
However, Chicago could muster only Christopher Morel’s fourth homer in four games — and eighth in 11 contests this season, off Craig Kimbrel in the ninth. Chicago, which ended a 2-7 trip, has lost 19 of its last 27 games.
Philadelphia stranded two runners in the second against Steele. Then in the sixth, the Phillies’ Nick Castellanos had doubled, but later was thrown out at third by Suzuki while trying to tag up on Bryce Harper’s fly ball to right field in Steele’s final frame.
However, Stott came through against the Cubs’ bullpen to extend his hitting streak to eight games with his fourth homer. Philadelphia’s Matt Strahm (4-3) faced four batters in the seventh to earn the winning decision.
–Field Level Media
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