Cubs awaken with 4-run 6th, hold off Phillies

Cubs awaken with 4-run 6th, hold off Phillies

CHICAGO -- If the Cubs could figure out a way to avoid giving up first-inning runs, they wouldn't need late-inning drama. On Wednesday, they had to come from behind again as Jason Heyward sparked a four-run sixth with an opposite-field RBI single and pinch-hitter Willson Contreras smacked a go-ahead two-run double to lead the Cubs to a 5-4 victory over the Phillies at Wrigley Field.

"That was the theme last year -- that we never quit," Cubs starter Jake Arrieta said. "If we still have outs left, if we're looking at a deficit, we still feel confident we're not completely out of it. With our lineup and the ability to string three, four, five quality at-bats together at one time, there's a chance to score multiple runs in one inning. Us establishing that we can come from behind early in the season in April, moving into May is a big boost for us."

Philadelphia opened a 3-1 lead before Chicago's spurt in the sixth. With one out against starter Jerad EickhoffAnthony Rizzo singled to end an 0-for-10 skid, and Ben Zobrist singled to set up Heyward's single to left off a 3-0 fastball.

Heyward's RBI single

Joely Rodriguez took over, and his second pitch got away from catcher Andrew Knapp for a passed ball, allowing both Cubs baserunners to advance. Contreras greeted Rodriguez with a double to left, driving in Zobrist and Heyward, and opening a 4-3 lead. Rodriguez was replaced by Edubray Ramos, and pinch-hitter Matt Szczur welcomed him with an RBI single, driving in Contreras, who had to dive to avoid being tagged.

Szczur's RBI knock

"We got lucky -- that ball hit right on the back of the mound," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of the throw in on Szczur's hit. "I think [third-base coach Gary Jones] does a great job over there. We try to teach that more aggressive form of baserunning."

Hot wheels: Contreras fuels Cubs' comeback

Arrieta drove in a run and picked up the win, scattering six hits over six innings and allowing three runs.

Arrieta's RBI groundout

Eickhoff, an Evansville, Ind., native who was originally a 46th-round pick of the Cubs in the 2010 Draft but did not sign, took the loss. Eickhoff had allowed one run, retiring 10 in a row at one point, before finding trouble in the sixth. He was charged with four runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Eickhoff fans Bryant

"I wasted too many pitches early on, getting deep into counts, going 3-0, getting into three-ball counts way too many times, and that can't happen," Eickhoff said of wanting to pitch out of the sixth-inning jam. "That's on me not being able to save enough pitches for that late in the game."

The Cubs now are 6-8 when trailing entering the sixth inning.

First things first:
The Cubs may want to consider having closer Wade Davis start games. Arrieta walked Daniel Nava, and one out later, he scored on Maikel Franco's single. Odubel Herrera followed with an RBI double for a 2-0 lead. The Cubs now have given up 33 earned runs in the first inning in 27 games for an 11.00 ERA. Scoring in the first isn't anything new for the Phillies, who are tied for first in the Majors with 28 first-inning runs.

Franco's RBI single

"I just think it's one of those things, he's probably thinking about it, but I have no concerns," Maddon said of Arrieta's rough start, although he could be talking about any of the starters. "There's nothing you can do or say or warm up differently. I've heard guys with all these crazy analytical methods in regards to helping a pitcher having a tough beginning. [They say], 'Be out there longer, throw harder, throw more pitches, throw less.' [You should] just stay with your routine, and it will come back to him." More >

Glovework: Before the game, Maddon talked about how the defense has been good, but it seems the players aren't getting to as many balls as last year. A perfect example occurred in the Phillies' fourth. Franco singled to open the inning, and one out later Brock Stassi doubled off the right-field wall on a ball that Zobrist misjudged.

Stassi's double off the wall

Franco then scored on Freddy Galvis' sacrifice fly.

Galvis' sacrifice fly

"You plug into this guy. He plays with his hair on fire. It can actually work against him. He gets a little over-assertive. As he learns to play with his hair on fire -- and not absolutely a forest fire, but slightly like a burning bush -- he's going to learn how to control that." -- Maddon, on the energy Contreras provides

Contreras on the 5-4 win

• Cubs reliever Koji Uehara retired the Phillies in order in the seventh. It was a milestone for the right-hander, as he appeared in his 400th game. It was his 13th game with the Cubs.

Uehara K's Knapp

• Davis picked up the save to improve to 7-for-7 this season, and he has converted his last 13 saves dating to last season. He has not given up a run in his last 19 1/3 innings.

Davis notches the save

Cesar Hernandez singled to lead off the Phillies' third, and Arrieta threw to first to pick him off. Hernandez was called safe, but the Cubs challenged the ruling, and after a review, the call was overturned.

Arrieta picks off Hernandez

Contreras walked to lead off the eighth inning. Pinch-hitter Jon Jay then grounded out to shortstop Galvis, who got the ball to second baseman Hernandez to force out Contreras before Hernandez threw to first. Umpires initially ruled that Jay beat the throw to first base. But the Phillies challenged the ruling, and following a review, the call was overturned.

Galvis, Hernandez turn two

Phillies: Zach Eflin will take the mound in the final game of the four-game series at Wrigley Field on Thursday, starting at 2:20 p.m. ET. Eflin will make his fourth start of the season after undergoing surgery on both knees to correct chronic tendinitis he had dealt with for years. Eflin, who is 0-0 with a 1.89 ERA, has worked seven innings in two of his three outings this season when he has pitched pain-free.

Cubs: John Lackey will close the series against the Phillies. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 3.75 ERA in two starts at Wrigley Field. He's gone at least six innings in each of his five starts this season. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. CT.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Jeff Arnold is a contributor to based in Chicago and covered the Phillies on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.