video thumbnail

CHC@PHI: LaHair ties game late with a two-run jack

PHILADELPHIA -- After a rough first inning on Monday, Cubs right-hander Chris Volstad had just one thing in mind.

"It was a tough game, a tough game all around," Volstad said. "I was watching the game [in the eighth], and I was just glad I gave us a chance to come back. I dug us a hole in that first inning, and it was hard for those guys. But they did a great job."

Unfortunately for the Cubs, their comeback wasn't enough on this night.

Placido Polanco hit a two-out, two-run double off of reliever Rafael Dolis in the eighth as the Phillies beat the Cubs, 6-4, at Citizens Bank Park. Volstad allowed four runs in the first inning, but the Cubs (8-15) worked their way back into the game and tied it at 4 in the eighth inning on a two-run home run by 29-year-old rookie Bryan LaHair.

"Volstad just pitched his butt off to keep us in the game," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Really, the whole game. The first inning, there were just some unfortunate breaks that went against us. A perfectly placed bunt, a little off-the-end squibber and then another seeing-eye base hit. He threw the ball unbelievable. He just had some tough breaks."

After the Cubs rallied to tie the game in the eighth, reliever Scott Maine hit pinch-hitter Juan Pierre with one-out. After Freddy Galvis popped out, Sveum went to Dolis to face Phillies leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins.

"Unfortunately he hit [Pierre] with a breaking ball," Sveum said. "And then [he] got Galvis to pop up, then that Rollins ball easily could have been a popup."

But it wasn't.

Rollins, who has struggled while hitting .235 this year, battled Dolis -- who threw over to first several times -- in a six-pitch at bat that ended with a floating single into right. Pierre moved to third on the play to set up a first-and-third, two-out at-bat for Polanco. Polanco got ahead 2-0 before he pulled a ball into left for a two-run double that gave the Phillies (11-12) a two-run lead.

"Nobody did anything wrong," Sveum said. "Just some balls found some holes."

Down by three, the Cubs started the eighth with a one-out walk to Tony Campana by left-hander Antonio Bastardo. Bastardo was lifted for right-hander Chad Qualls. Campana stole second and scored on Starlin Castro's single. LaHair followed with his fifth home run of the season on a 1-1 pitch that landed in the seats in right-center to tie the game at 4. LaHair's blast was the Cubs' ninth this month, the lowest total in the Majors.

"I think tonight you saw what kind of team we are," said LaHair. "We're playing hard, and I said we would from Day 1. Look, we split the series. We didn't lose it. That's a positive.

"Personally, it's great to get off to a good start and help the team win. I know the power numbers are down, but it's early, and I think you'll see our numbers get better."

"I think I can be doing better," Volstad said. "As far as the numbers go and throwing the ball, I feel OK. I just have to keep throwing the ball.

"Infield hit, base-hit bunt on a good pitch in the perfect spot. Not much you can do but keep throwing, and that's the game."

MLB.com Comments