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Schwarber homers on 1st pitch, Walker wins 5th straight start as Phillies beat Cubs 3-1

CHICAGO (AP) — After stumbling along through the first two months, the Philadelphia Phillies are now piling up wins. And they're doing it on the road in a big way.

Kyle Schwarber homered on the game’s first pitch, Taijuan Walker won his fifth straight start and the surging Philadelphia Phillies beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 on Thursday night.

Bryce Harper drove in two runs. Trea Turner had two hits and scored a run, helping the Phillies win for the 18th time in 23 games.

“I just think in general we're playing good baseball,” Walker said. “We're picking each other up. The pitching's doing really well, the hitting. This was a really good series for us.”

The Phillies (43-37) were seven games under .500 prior to this run. They've won nine straight on the road, matching their best streak since May 1984.

Schwarber, the former Cub, got things started with a drive to right against Kyle Hendricks (3-3) for his 21st homer. It was his fifth game-opening home run this season and 25th in his career.

Walker (9-3) went six innings, allowing one run and six hits while striking out six and walking one. The right-hander has a 0.84 ERA in his past five outings.

Yunior Marte and Gregory Soto each worked an inning before Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth for his 12th save. The Phillies overcame two dropped fly balls in completing the three-game sweep.

“We're just trying to play good baseball series,” Harper said. “We have so many good players on this team, so many superstar players, that if one guy's not performing, the other guy will be.”

The Cubs have lost four in a row after winning nine of 10.

Hendricks was a tough-luck loser after winning his previous three starts. The crafty right-hander went seven innings, allowing three runs and six hits.

Nico Hoerner and Christopher Morel each had two hits.

The Cubs tied it in the second when Cody Bellinger singled and scored on Jared Young’s two-out triple.

The Phillies grabbed a 3-1 lead in the third when Harper drove in Kody Clemens and Turner with a two-out single up the middle.

Chicago had two on in the fifth after Schwarber dropped Mike Tauchman’s fly to left and Hoerner singled. But Walker retired the next three batters, clapping a few times after he caught Dansby Swanson looking at a 3-2 splitter.

The Cubs also had a runner on second in the sixth after center fielder Brandon Marsh dropped Young’s fly. But Nick Madrigal grounded out to end the inning.


Catcher J.T. Realmuto flashed his gold glove skills with a highlight reel play in the ninth.

He raced about two-thirds of the way up the first-base line, bare-handed Nick Madrigal's squibber and underhanded the ball as he sprawled out, the throw beating the runner by roughly half a step.

“The whole time I was running, I was planning on grabbing it and sidearm throwing it,” Realmuto said. “By the time I got to the ball, I was like ‘shoot, I’m so close to the base.'”


Cubs: OF Seiya Suzuki (stiff neck) was out of the lineup for the second straight game. Manager David Ross said Suzuki was feeling better, though still experiencing discomfort. ... RHP Marcus Stroman — who left Sunday’s loss to St. Louis because of a blister on his right index finger — threw a bullpen session on Thursday. Assuming no setbacks, he is scheduled to pitch Saturday against Cleveland.


Phillies: LHP Cristopher Sanchez (0-1, 4.05 ERA) gets the ball as the Philadelphia opens a three-game series against Washington. RHP Josiah Gray (5-6, 3.43) starts for the Nationals.

Cubs: LHP Justin Steele (8-2, 2.62) looks to win his third straight start as the Cubs open a three-game series against Cleveland. Guardians RHP Cal Quantrill (2-4, 5.61) seeks his first win since May 7. ___

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