Phillies 3, Cubs 2
CHICAGO (AP) _ Mark Leiter had been thinking about Tuesday night’s game the moment he walked off the field four days ago in his last start.
Leiter pitched eight strong innings Tuesday night and Ricky Bottalico survived a wild ninth by striking out the side, giving the Philadelphia Phillies a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Leiter (4-4), who lasted just one-third of an inning _ his shortest career start _ in his last outing on May 16 against Houston, allowed three hits.
``The other day was so ugly, I can’t believe what happened,″ Leiter said. ``Tonight, my control was as good as it’s ever been.″
``Seventy-five pitches,″ said Phillies manager Terry Francona of Leiter, who lasted just 20 pitches in the Houston game. ``He’s been really good for us all year. That (Houston game) was an aberration, a once-in-a-lifetime thing.″
Rookie Scott Rolen and Gregg Jefferies each homered for the Phillies, who took a 3-1 lead into the ninth.
Bottalico came on and gave up three consecutive singles, including an RBI base hit to Dave Clark. One out later, Scott Servais was then walked intentionally before Bottalico struck out pinch-hitters Brooks Kieschnick and Mike Hubbard for his 11th save.
``The guy was throwing about 100 miles an hour and those were tough at-bats,″ Cubs manager Jim Riggleman said. ``Bottalico is one of the better closers in the league and he showed it.″
It was tough for Francona to watch.
``I was trying to tell myself the whole time this is why he’s here _ and that lasted two seconds,″ Francona said. ```Bernie’ (catcher Mark Parent) says it was exciting. I was nervous.″
Bottalico, who has blown only one save in 12 chances this season, thought the whole inning was strange.
``It was a weird change of events,″ he said.
``It’s disappointing that we didn’t at least tie the game up,″ said Cubs first baseman Mark Grace, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a leadoff single in the ninth. ``We’ve got to do a better job in those situations.″
Rolen homered for the fourth time in five games, hitting a two-run shot in the first. Jefferies hit his third homer with one out in the seventh.
Frank Castillo (2-6) took the loss, giving up six hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out four.
The Cubs, who scored 15 runs Monday against San Francisco, were seeking their first three-game winning streak of the season.
With one out in the Phillies first, Mickey Morandini singled and Rolen followed with his fifth homer, hitting a 2-0 pitch from Castillo into the left-field bleachers.
Larry Casian started the seventh and gave up Jefferies’ one-out shot.
With one out in the Cubs seventh, Clark was hit by a pitch in the back. He reached second on Jose Hernandez’s single but Hernandez was forced at second on Servais’ fielder’s choice. Clark then scored on a wild pitch.
Notes: Rolen homered in three consecutive games May 16-18, the first Phillies player to do so since Todd Zeile on July 7, 11-12, 1996. ... Cubs shortstop Shawon Dunston had to leave the game in the fifth because of a slight strain in his left hamstring. His status is day-to-day. ... Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal left the game after the eighth inning because of a mild strain in his right thumb. ... Phillies pitcher Mike Grace, on the disabled list since March 26 with a strained right tricep, was scheduled to throw on the side Friday. Grace could begin an injury rehabilitation assignment next week. ... Matt Beech, on the DL since May 9 with a sprained right ankle, will throw Wednesday and Friday on the side and was scheduled to start Monday for the Phillies against Cincinnati. ... Clark made his fifth start in left field for the Cubs. He is 4-for-22 as a pinch hitter. ... Chicago’s Ryne Sandberg did not start for a third consecutive game. He did come in as a pinch hitter in the eighth.