AP Photo/Matt Slocum
Third baseman Patrick Wisdom tied the Cubs’ franchise rookie home run record in the 6-3 win over the Phillies.
PHILADELPHIA – It took the Cubs awhile to get the offense going in Tuesday’s 6-3 win over the Phillies, but once they got things going, their four-run fifth inning carried them to a victory in the series opener.
The Cubs were hitless going into the fifth inning as Phillies starter Kyle Gibson had held them in check until that point.
But after Willson Contreras notched the team’s first hit of the collecting their first hit of the game, their first run would come soon after.
Third baseman Patrick Wisdom put the Cubs on the board, launching a long two-run blast deep into the night to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead.
The 447-foot moonshot not only gave the Cubs the lead, but also put Wisdom in the history books. He tied the team’s franchise rookie record set by Kris Bryant in 2015 and snapped a season-long 13 game homerless streak.
But Wisdom wouldn’t be the only Cubs’ rookie with a big swing in the fifth inning as next batter, Alfonso Rivas, also got in on the action. Rivas got a 1-1 fastball from Phillies starter Kyle Gibson and lined a rocket into the right-field seats for his first Major League homer.
It was the eighth time this season the Cubs hit back-to-back homers.
“A lot of our guys just seeing somebody for the first time, it’s tough,” manager David Ross said. “Our guys have done that. I mean, if you look at kind of our track record of this second group, we’ve done a nice job as the game goes on and continue to have good at-bats.”
The Cubs’ would cap off the four-run fifth with a two-run double by center fielder Rafael Ortega to take a commanding 4-1 lead.
Things would get tight in the sixth inning as the Phillies would come within a run making it a 4-3 game, but the Cubs’ offense would get the two runs back in the seventh.
After a double by pinch-hitter Nick Martini put a runner in scoring position, first baseman Frank Schwindel hit an RBI-double to make it a 5-3 game. Next batter, Ian Happ followed with an RBI-double of his own to make it 6-3.
If you went by the first batter of the game, you would have thought it was going to be a long night for starter Adrian Sampson. Sampson’s outing got off to a rough start as he allowed a lead-off homer to Odubel Herrera to start the game and a single to the next batter, Jean Segura.
But after that, the Cubs’ right-hander settled and threw the ball very well and stayed out of trouble for the rest of his outing. Sampson was able to use his sinker effectively against the Phillies, inducing eight groundballs in the game.
“The thing that stands out to me is just the way pitches and throw strikes,” Ross said of Sampson. “The two-seamer, he got tons of ground balls. He’s never in a ton of trouble. You feel like he’s a groundball away. Guys just don’t see that sinker and can stay on it really well.”
He finished the game going five-plus innings, allowing two runs on just four hits. He struck out three batters and walked two.
Sampson has thrown the ball well when given the opportunity with a 2.53 in seven games this season and has allowed two runs or fewer in all three of his starts.