J.T. Realmuto powers Phillies past Cubs 4-2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — J.T. Realmuto and Roman Quinn delivered the type of hits that have been rare for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Realmuto homered and drove in the tiebreaking run with an RBI double in the seventh inning to lift the Phillies to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
The Phillies will have a familiar face in the dugout Wednesday when new hitting coach Charlie Manuel arrives. The franchise icon was hired to replace John Mallee as hitting coach earlier in the day.
“Obviously, we feel terrible we cost a guy his job,” Realmuto said. “We all love (Mallee). We’re going to miss him.”
Manuel has a lot of work to do to revive an underachieving offense that overcame 15 strikeouts for the win, but the pitching staff did the job against the NL Central leaders.
Jason Vargas allowed two runs and five hits in six innings. Blake Parker (2-2) and Mike Morin each tossed a hitless inning and Hector Neris finished for his 21st save in 25 tries. Neris retired Jason Heyward on a grounder to end the game with two runners on.
Cubs starter Jose Quintana had a career-best 14 strikeouts in six innings, allowing two runs — one earned — and five hits. Chicago fell to 23-36 on the road. No other first-place team has a losing record away from home.
“Obviously, we have to play better (on the road),” Quintana said.
Pinch-hitter Andrew Knapp led off the bottom of the seventh with a single off Kyle Ryan (3-2) and scored from first when Realmuto hit a sharp grounder down the left-field line with two outs.
Quinn’s RBI triple with two outs in the eighth gave Philadelphia an insurance run.
The Phillies entered the game hitting .229 with two outs and runners in scoring position.
“We definitely feel as an offense we can do better,” Realmuto said. “We have to carry the load.”
Realmuto hit his 16th homer the opposite way to right to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead in the fifth.
Nicholas Castellanos led off the sixth with his 16th homer to left to tie it at 2-2.
Scott Kingery’s sacrifice fly gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the third. Castellanos singled leading off the fourth and later scored on Javier Baez’s sac fly.
Manuel, who was working as senior adviser to general manager Matt Klentak, will join the team exactly six years after managing his last game. Manuel led the Phillies to five NL East titles, two NL pennants and the 2008 World Series championship. His 780 wins as manager are the most in team history.
“If we’re going to make a run, it’ll be because we score runs,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “The strength of our team is our offense. We have the talent and the track record.”
Quintana’s previous best was 13 strikeouts against Minnesota on Sept. 13, 2014. The last Cubs pitcher to record 14 strikeouts in a game was Jon Lester on July 29, 2015, against Colorado.
Cubs: RHP Craig Kimbrel (right knee inflammation) threw a bullpen session. RHP Brandon Kintzler (right pectoral inflammation) also threw in the bullpen. Manager Joe Maddon said reports on both were positive.
Phillies: LF Corey Dickerson left the game after he was hit in on the left hand by a pitch in the third inning. Kapler said X-rays were negative and Dickerson is day-to-day.
LHP Cole Hamels (6-3, 3.09 ERA) makes his first start against the Phillies in Philadelphia on Wednesday. RHP Aaron Nola (10-3, 3.67) pitches for the Phillies. Hamels, the 2008 NLCS and World Series MVP, was traded from Philadelphia to Texas in July 2015.
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