Cubs aim to salvage split of four-game series vs. Phillies

MLB

The Chicago Cubs scored each of their runs with two outs Wednesday, showing a resiliency that ultimately helped the team snap an 11-game losing streak with an 8-3 victory against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies.

As the Cubs aim to keep rebounding from the franchise’s longest skid since 2012, beginning with Thursday night’s series finale with Philadelphia, right fielder Jason Heyward says the team isn’t lacking for morale.

“Just keep trying to remind everybody who they are and how hard they worked to get to this point,” Heyward said. “Trust their ability, just go out there and play hard and try to keep competing, try to keep having fun and just play the game that we love to show up and play.”

Chicago won for the first time since June 24, prompting manager David Ross and plenty of players to exhale.

“I mean, it’s nice to win a game. It’s nice to be rewarded with our hard work and our effort,” Heyward said. “I feel like we’ve been fighting. Obviously, you don’t want to lose, especially not 11 in a row — or whatever, five in a row. It’s a good start going into the weekend.”

The Cubs hope to be close to full strength as they attempt to salvage a split of the four-game series. Second baseman Javier Baez (sprained right thumb) was scratched from the starting lineup, while third baseman Kris Bryant left the game in the fourth inning with right-hamstring tightness.

Ross said after Wednesday’s game that both players were day-to-day.

Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper has seven hits in the first three games of the series, including a career-high-tying five in Tuesday’s 15-10 victory. Harper is batting .333 in July as he continues to rebound from a harrowing May.

After hitting .211 in that month, Harper batted .278 in June.

Might he have been able to tell you that? Probably not?

“I never look at my midseason numbers or my first month or my second month,” Harper said. “I try to look at it as a season, as a whole. Once we get into September, hopefully we’re in first place and we’re getting ready for some cold baseball in October.”

Although the Phillies were limited to six hits Wednesday, with J.T. Realmuto and Alec Bohm notching two apiece, Philadelphia has won four of its past six thanks in large part to its offense.

The Phillies outscored the Cubs 28-13 to win the first two games of the series, scoring 10-plus runs in consecutive games for the first time since June 2015.

“When we’re all going at the same time, it’s a lot of fun to watch,” Harper said. “I think we’re coming into our own as a team.”

Righty Zach Eflin (3-6, 4.13 ERA) is set to get the call for the Phillies.

Eflin defeated the San Diego Padres with six innings of two-run ball on Saturday to end a streak of five straight losing decisions. Eflin is 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA in four career starts against the Cubs.

Right-hander Adbert Alzolay (4-8, 4.48) will start for the Cubs as he makes his first career appearance against the Phillies. Alzolay has lost four straight starts, his latest coming Saturday after yielding three runs in seven innings at Cincinnati.

–Field Level Media

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