Extra base hits have been few and far between for the Phillies during the opening month of the season. But a double was the difference as the Phillies beat the Cubs 6-4 to salvage a split of the four-game series.
It was a rare double digit hit night for the Phillies but the punchless squad managed ten singles before Placido Polanco doubled in a pair in the bottom of the eighth.
“Polanco hit the ball real good,” Manuel said. “He drilled that ball. The ball was down an in. He got to it real good. He’s been working on his hitting the last four or five games. His swing has been getting better.”
Vance Worley, who is 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA over his last three starts, deserved the win.
The second-year sensation tossed another gem. Worley, who retired the first 11 hitters he faced, gave up five hits and struck out five over seven strong innings.
“I thought he pitched good,” Manuel said.
The big righthander had a good fastball, a cutter with plenty of movement, a big breaking curveball and a heavy sinker.
“I think my sinker was running a lot more tonight,” Worley said. “Today was probably one of my better cutter days. It was comparable to (his cutter in) San Diego. Chooch (Carlos Ruiz) did a good job mixing. I give him credit for that. I just wish I had better location (in the seventh when the Cubs touched him for a run.)”
A win was in place for Worley but the Phillies bullpen cost the Vanimal a win. Chad Qualls, who blew the save but picked up the win, gave up three hits and two runs in the eighth.
It was the second time the Phillies pen blew a 4-1 lead in the eighth for Worley.
The Phillies moribund offense hung a four-spot on the Cubs in the first but it was not enough.
The hot-hitting Ruiz drove in a pair, while Hunter Pence and Pete Orr each had a RBI.
The Phillies close out April with an 11-12 record courtesy of strong pitching and a power deprived offense.
“I’ve seen us have rough Aprils,” Manuel said. “We’re a game under .500. We start a new month hopefully we’ll play much better. I think our pitching is there. We need to improve on defense and definitely improve our hitting. We got to get timely hitting. We got to get our pitchers some runs.”