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Zobrist, Cubs stay hot, sweep Phillies

May 29, 2016

CHICAGO -- Ben Zobrist continued his hot streak, smacking a three-run home run, and Miguel Montero added a solo shot that ricocheted off the right-field video board to lift the Cubs to a 7-2 victory Sunday over the Phillies at Wrigley Field for their fifth straight win.John Lackey went seven

CHICAGO -- Ben Zobrist continued his hot streak, smacking a three-run home run, and Miguel Montero added a solo shot that ricocheted off the right-field video board to lift the Cubs to a 7-2 victory Sunday over the Phillies at Wrigley Field for their fifth straight win.
John Lackey went seven innings and held the Phillies to four hits, including a solo home run by Tyler Goeddel in the seventh, for his second win in his past seven starts. It was the Cubs' first three-game sweep of the Phillies at Wrigley Field since July 28-30, 1995.
"The Cubs have a very good team," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "Probably the best team in baseball right now. They beat us. Fair and square, they beat us."

Chicago improved to a season-high 20-games over .500. What's next?
"The next goal is 25 over," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said, happy to see his players want to complete the sweep. "Many times you'll see a team not have the same sense of urgency on sweep day when you can win the series. I like the fact that our guys aren't satisfied winning a series when you have a chance to sweep."

Vince Velasquez gave up a season-high seven runs over 4 2/3 innings, and didn't get any offensive support, which was a theme for the Phillies in the series. Chicago outscored Philadelphia, 17-5, in the three games. Chicago has 18 wins by five or more runs, tops in the Majors. The had 16 all of last season.
Howard sitting as Joseph getting more looks
Power rangers: Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the first on Anthony Rizzo's RBI single, and Montero made it 2-0 in the second when he led off with his second home run and first since Opening Day on April 4. With two outs in the third, Kris Bryant reached on an infield single and Rizzo walked to set up Zobrist's home run, which extended his hitting streak to 15 games. He has reached safely in his last 34 starts, and has 40 hits in May, his highest total for a single month in his career.

"I'm trying to figure out myself if I can keep this up, to be honest," Zobrist said. "I don't think I've ever had a month when I hit this well. You just try to keep going." More >
Out of line: The Phillies missed out on a scoring chance in the fourth when Freddy Galvis led off with a double and moved to third on an Andres Blanco groundout. After Maikel Franco walked to give the Phillies runners at the corners, Tommy Joseph grounded to Zobrist, who made an attempt to tag Franco running to second. Franco went out of the baseline to dodge the tag, and Zobrist threw to first for the out. Despite Galvis crossing the plate, Franco was called out and the double-play ruling prevented the run from scoring.

Start me up: Lackey posted his fourth start this season in which he went at least six innings and gave up one or zero runs. He finished May with a 2-1 record and 2.09 ERA, striking out 40 over 43 innings. In the past five games, Cubs starters are 5-0 with a 2.08 ERA.
"He treats every inning like it's 0-0 and he keeps going after you," Maddon said.

"They're such a young team and want to swing so much," Lackey said of the Phillies. "Against an older, veteran team, you might throw a few more fastballs, but against a team like that, you have to keep mixing it up. They're not going to take the first-pitch strike, they're going to keep swinging."

Ugly out: Galvis made his second error of the season to start a wild sequence that cost the Phillies in the fifth. With Dexter Fowler on first, Galvis booted a hard-hit Jason Heyward ball to his glove side. As Galvis tracked the ball down in shallow center, Fowler broke for third. The Phillies recovered to tag Fowler out at third after a 6-5-4-5 rundown, but Heyward moved to second and later scored. Had Galvis fielded the ball cleanly, it could have been a double play.

"That's up for debate, I guess. Every team goes through a lull. Every team goes through a hot streak and a cold streak. How you come out of those streaks, especially the cold streak, determines how good of a team you are. I choose to believe we're on the bottom of the roller coaster and on our way up. That's the way I look at it." -- Mackanin, when asked if his team's magic is running out
"He's raking right now. When he gets up at the plate, we're just wondering which direction the hit's going to go. When he makes an out, it's surprising. He's really fun to watch." -- Lackey, on Zobrist
In the seventh, Matt Szczur was called safe at first after hitting a grounder to Franco. After a review, the call was overturned and Szczur was out.

Phillies: Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson starts to begin a three-game series when the Phillies host the Nationals on Monday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Hellickson has gone at least six innings in each of his past three starts.
Cubs:Jason Hammel will open a four-game series against the Dodgers on Monday. Hammel is coming off a win over the Cardinals and riding a three-game hitting streak. He's 2-6 with a 4.93 ERA in 16 career games vs. the Dodgers. First pitch will be 4:05 p.m. CT from Wrigley Field.
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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.

Cody Stavenhagen is a reporter for and covered the Phillies on Sunday.