Zach Eflin pitches into 8th inning, Phillies beat Cubs 6-1
When the wind is blowing in at Wrigley Field, it’s a green light for pitchers to get aggressive. That’s precisely what Zach Eflin did Tuesday night to produce his best outing of the season.
Eflin pitched into the eighth inning, Nick Williams homered and the Philadelphia Phillies snapped a three-game slide with a 6-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Williams had three RBIs and Eflin (2-2) allowed one run and eight hits in a season-high 7 2/3 innings on an unseasonably cool night with a 24 mph wind. The right-hander snapped a two-game skid for his first win since May 7.
“It makes you just want to go after them a little more,” Eflin said of the conditions.
“Just attacking the strike zone with all of my pitches, just keeping them off balance and pitching inside. I did that a lot more tonight and I was pretty successful doing that.”
Edubray Ramos recorded the last out in the eighth and Seranthony Dominguez got the final three outs — after Ramos walked the leadoff batter in the ninth — to extend his scoreless streak to 14 2/3 innings.
Anthony Rizzo had two hits and an RBI as Chicago’s four-game winning streak came to an end.
“We have to score runs with the wind blowing in and all that stuff,” Rizzo said. “We had a couple opportunities and it just went their way.”
Kyle Hendricks (4-5) allowed five runs and five hits in five innings. He struck out five and tied a season high with three walks.
The Phillies grabbed the lead in the second when Williams crushed a high drive through the wind and into the right-field bleachers for a two-run shot.
Philadelphia added three more in the third as Hendricks displayed some uncharacteristic wildness. Carlos Santana drove in the first run with a bases-loaded walk. It was Hendricks’ second walk of the inning.
Aaron Altherr made it 4-0 with a sacrifice fly, and Williams capped the rally with an RBI groundout.
“Obviously, Kyle wasn’t on top of his game,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Missing the plate, the home run early.”
Eflin’s only jam before the eighth came in the fourth when Rizzo led off with a single and Kyle Schwarber doubled one out later to put runners on second and third. Eflin struck out Javier Baez on a chin-high fastball and retired Albert Almora Jr. on a comebacker to end the threat.
“He’s a very aggressive hitter,” Eflin said of Baez. “I know he’s more aggressive with runners on base and to be able to climb the ladder like that and get him to swing is what I wanted.”
Rizzo doubled to drive in a run with two outs in the eighth, spoiling the shutout bid.
Philadelphia got the run back in the ninth on Altherr’s RBI single.