Murphy’s Homer In 9th Lifts Cubs Past Phillies 5-2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Donnie Murphy hit a tiebreaking three-run shot in the ninth inning for his second homer of the game, lifting the Chicago Cubs to a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.
Murphy drove a 3-1 pitch from Justin De Fratus deep into the left field seats for his third homer in two games. He also had a solo shot in the third.
Luis Garcia (0-1) set up Murphy’s winning homer by issuing three walks, including one to Cole Gillespie after Cody Ransom was picked off first for the second out of the inning.
Pedro Strop (2-1) tossed a scoreless eighth for the win and Kevin Gregg worked the ninth for his 23rd save.
The day wasn’t a complete loss for the Phillies. Two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press that Chase Utley has agreed to a two-year contract through the 2015 season. The deal reportedly is worth around $27 million.
Two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay also is a step closer a return from shoulder surgery and will pitch a simulated game Saturday in Clearwater, Fla.
Utley was thrown out at home plate trying to score the tying run in the seventh. Utley banged knees with catcher Dioner Navarro on the play. Navarro was tended to by trainers and carted off the field. Cubs left fielder Thomas Neal left the game the same inning with a dislocated right shoulder.
Utley’s extension and Halladay’s looming return overshadowed a game between two teams buried in the standings.
Utley, who turns 35 on Dec. 17, would’ve been a free agent after the season. He’s in the last year of an $85 million contract signed in January 2007.
He wasn’t in the starting lineup against the Cubs, but drove in the tying run with a pinch single in the seventh inning. Utley then knocked over Navarro in a violent collision trying to score from second base on a single. Navarro held onto the ball and Utley was out. Navarro was carted off the field. X-rays were negative and the Cubs said he suffered a contusion.
Utley was hitting .277 with 15 homers and 43 RBIs in 84 games. He hasn’t played more than 115 games in a season since 2009 because of chronic knee problems.
The 35-year-old Halladay also is eligible for free agency at the end of the season but hasn’t pitched since right shoulder surgery in May to repair a partially torn rotator cuff and remove a bone spur. He also has some fraying of the labrum.
Halladay is 2-4 with an 8.65 ERA in seven starts this season.
“I’m not interested in coming back and pitching at the same level I was earlier this year,” he said. “I want to come back and pitch at a high level.”
The Phillies won five straight division titles from 2007-2011, including the 2008 World Series. Halladay went 21-10 and threw a perfect game against the Marlins in 2010, his first season in Philadelphia.
Utley played a key role in the 2008 World Series and the 2009 NL championship teams. Between 2005-09, Utley averaged a .301 batting average, 29 homers and 101 RBIs.
One of the all-time fan favorites in Philadelphia, Utley got a big ovation when he came to the plate in the seventh. He lined a single up the middle off Matt Guerrier to score John Mayberry Jr. Mayberry opened the inning with a double.
Neal left the game when he hurt his right arm trying to throw out Mayberry at second base. Neal instantly grabbed his throwing arm and was down for several minutes before he walked off the field. Junior Lake moved to left and David DeJesus came into the game to play center.
The Cubs said Neal dislocated his right shoulder.
The Phillies wasted a chance to bust the game open when James Russell retired Dom Brown with the bases loaded to end the seventh.
Travis Wood struck out seven and allowed two runs in 6 1-3 innings for the Cubs.
Brown connected off Wood for his 25th homer in the second.
Murphy tied it at 1 with his leadoff drive against Cole Hamels in the third, and Lake made it 2-1 with a bloop RBI single in the fifth.
Hamels, who hasn’t won since July 9, struck out three and gave up two runs in seven innings. The former All-Star left-hander remained stuck with a miserable 4-13 record.
NOTES: The Cubs snapped a five-game losing streak. … The Cubs send Jeff Samardzija (6-10, 3.78 ERA) to the mound against Ethan Martin (0-1) in Thursday’s series finale. … Utley flied out in the ninth.
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