The Phillies' offense continued to click in a 7-1 win over the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night.
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The Phils scored 28 runs in their previous series, but lost 3 of 4 to Miami because their pitching did not hold up.
It did in this game.
The Phillies trailed 1-0 after a half-inning but took the lead for good on a two-run home run by Rhys Hoskins (who else?) in the bottom of the first inning. The homer was the rookie's ninth in the last 12 games. Hoskins' nine homers came in the first 54 at-bats of his career, the fastest ever by a player in baseball's modern era - 1900 and beyond.
Starting pitching report
Jerad Eickhoff (4-7) survived a first-inning home run to deliver five innings of one-run ball. Eickhoff had to pitch out of trouble a couple of times because he allowed eight base runners, five hits and three walks. With his fastball velocity sitting under 90 miles per hour, he relied on his curveball and got some big outs with it, including a bases-loaded strikeout of Ian Happ to end the top of the fifth. Eickhoff registered eight strikeouts in all.
Cubs lefty Jose Quintana (4-2) gave up a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and six runs in all over five innings.
Continued good work by lefties Hoby Milner and Adam Morgan. The duo combined for three scoreless innings. Morgan was especially impressive. Five of his six outs came on strikeouts. He hit 97 mph on the gun.
At the plate
Hoskins is the first player in major league history to have nine homers in his first 16 games. He also has 21 RBIs.
Cesar Hernandez had a bases-loaded triple for the Phillies with one out in the second inning. Freddy Galvis followed with an RBI single.
Maikel Franco clubbed a solo homer in the eighth. It was his first homer since Aug. 6 and just his second this month. He has 18 homers for the season.
Kyle Schwarber homered off Eickhoff in the first inning for the Cubs' lone run.
On the bases
Hernandez and Galvis combined to put on a clinic in bad base running in the fourth inning. The Phillies put enough runs on the board to overcome the mistakes.
Pitcher Vince Velasquez is getting a second opinion on how to address the blood-flow issue that will sideline him for the rest of the season (see story).
The series continues on Saturday night with Ben Lively (1-4, 3.70) pitching against Chicago right-hander Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.52).