PHILADELPHIA -- Jake Arrieta won his Major League-leading 19th game Friday night and helped the Cubs keep pace in their push for the playoffs with a 5-1 win over the Phillies in the first game of a doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park.
Austin Jackson and Kris Bryant hit consecutive RBI doubles in the fifth, Addison Russell added a two-run double in the sixth and Starlin Castro belted a solo homer in the seventh to back Arrieta, now 19-6. The right-hander did serve up Aaron Altherr's solo homer, but still notched his 16th straight quality start, the most by a Cubs pitcher since Lon Warneke posted 17 in a row in 1933. Arrieta's ERA dropped to 1.99 for the season.
He's not looking at individual statistics at this point, although Cy Young voters should be.
"It doesn't matter to me," Arrieta said of his personal numbers. "After the season is over, you look at your line and you can appreciate it then. It's not even where my mind's at. Those are things people strive for. They set their sights high and try to reach the milestones. Obviously, I'll get 200 innings, I got 200 strikeouts, and that's great. I just want to be quality for the team and finish good enough."
The Phillies were the only team to beat Arrieta in his last 16 starts, doing so on July 25 at Wrigley Field when Cole Hamels threw a no-hitter. The Cubs' ace now has won eight consecutive starts.
"Arrieta is a potential Cy Young candidate," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "He pitched very well."
The Cubs began the day with a firm hold on the second National League Wild Card spot, trailing the Pirates by 2 1/2 games for the first spot. The Giants were third in the Wild Card standings, nine games back.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED 200 K's: For the first time in his career, Arrieta reached 200 strikeouts, getting Cody Asche looking at strike three to end the second inning. He's the first Cubs pitcher to reach 200 since Jeff Samardzija totaled 214 in 2013. But right before that, Arrieta served up Altherr's homer, the first off the right-hander since that last loss against the Phillies when Ryan Howard connected on a three-run shot. The run also ended Arrieta's scoreless streak at 18 innings. More >
Morgan can't hang: Phillies left-hander Adam Morgan retired 14 of the first 18 batters he faced, but the Cubs got to Morgan their third time through the lineup. He allowed hits to five of the final seven batters he faced, allowing seven hits and four runs in five-plus innings to fall to 5-6 with a 4.60 ERA.
"I just left some pitches over the plate for them to hit," Morgan said. "That's a good hitting team."
Altherr hits, Howard doesn't: Rookie Altherr continues to show some pop. He hit a solo home run to left field in the second inning to hand the Phillies a 1-0 lead. It was Altherr's 10th extra-base hit in 80 plate appearances since being promoted from Triple-A. Meanwhile, Howard went 0-for-4 to extend his hitless streak to 33 at-bats. It is the longest such stretch by a Phillies player since Raul Ibanez had a 35 at-bat hitless streak in 2011.
"He's our first baseman," Mackanin said of Howard. "He's got to battle his way out of it. We really need him. He's the power guy in our fourth spot." More >
Kid stuff: Bryant took sole possession of the Cubs' single-season rookie record for RBIs when he drove in a run with a double in the fifth for No. 87. Bryant passed Billy Williams and Geovany Soto, who both totaled 86 RBIs in their rookie seasons in 1961 and 2008, respectively. Both Williams and Soto won the National League Rookie of the Year in those seasons.
"When there's people on base, he becomes an even better hitter," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Friday marked the Cubs' first traditional (non-split admission) doubleheader since they played two against the D-backs on Aug. 3, 2006, at Wrigley Field. The Phillies, on the other hand, already had played a traditional twin bill this season.
Arrieta is the first Cubs pitcher to win 19 games since Jon Lieber went 20-6 in 2001.
The Phillies challenged a call in the fourth inning after Howard grounded into a double play. First-base umpire Ben May ruled Howard out at first base, but replay officials in New York overturned the call and Howard was safe.
WHAT'S NEXT Cubs:Dan Haren will start the third of a four-game series against the Phillies on Saturday. The right-hander is coming off his best outing since joining the Cubs when he scattered seven hits over seven scoreless innings on Monday against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. This will be his fourth start against the Phillies this season and third at Citizens Bank Park; he's 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA so far. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT.
Phillies: Rookie Jerad Eickhoff will make his fourth big league start Saturday at 7:05 ET. He allowed six runs in just four innings last weekend against the Red Sox at Wrigley Field, but he allowed 15 hits and six earned runs in 19 innings in his first three starts.