Murphy's second homer powers Cubs to victory
Three-run shot in ninth breaks tie and snaps five-game losing skid
PHILADELPHIA -- As Chase Utley barreled toward home plate, the only thing that stood between the Phillies and taking the lead was catcher Dioner Navarro.
In a bang-bang play, Navarro received a throw, took a hard collision from Utley and held on to the ball to keep the game tied in the seventh inning. Navarro's right leg was caught under him on the play, and he had to exit the field on a cart.
But the Phillies never scored again in the inning, and thanks to a three-run homer from Donnie Murphy in the ninth -- his second of the game and third in two days -- the Cubs snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
"It was one heck of a play by Navarro to hold on to the ball and block the plate at the same time," manager Dale Sveum said. "A lot of catchers don't have the guts to do that sometimes."
Navarro stayed down on the ground for an extended period after the collision, as trainers tended to his right leg. However, x-rays on his right ankle came back negative, the injury was being treated as a contusion, and the team considered the 29-year-old day to day.
Even though Navarro was hurt, and Utley launched himself into the catcher, Sveum said the play was just part of the game.
"I don't think anything was wrong or anything," Sveum said. "He was blocking the plate, guys have the right to do that. That's what you want your guys to do, to do everything they can to get home plate."
Utley noted everything happened quickly on the play, and he felt like he did not have many options.
"Obviously, I wanted to try to knock the ball loose," Utley said. "I give him a lot of credit for hanging in there as long as he did, hanging onto the ball. That's probably a big reason why they won that game tonight."
In addition to Navarro's injury, Cubs left fielder Thomas Neal dislocated his shoulder on a throw earlier in the inning. Neal was placed on the disabled list after the game.
Even with the injuries, the Cubs were able to rally against the Phillies' bullpen for just their second win in 10 games.
Murphy was the star for the Cubs.
His second home run of the game came with two on and two outs in the ninth inning against Justin De Fratus. Murphy worked ahead in the count. He said facing De Fratus the night before also gave him an advantage.
"I was just thinking base hit right there," Murphy said of his ninth inning at-bat in a 2-2 tie. "But in a count 3-1, he didn't want to put another guy on. I faced him [Tuesday] night. Thankfully, I knew he had a little giddy-up on his fastball."
Third baseman Murphy went 3-for-3 with a double and another homer that just cleared the right-field fence in the third inning. He was recently called up from Triple-A, and has played just three games with the Cubs this season.
Sveum plugged Murphy in the lineup looking for some kind of production for a Cubs offense that had been dormant until coming to Philadelphia. Murphy's three homers and seven RBIs in two games are a lot more than what Sveum was expecting.
"That was great. He always had some pop in his bat," Sveum said.
Travis Wood went 6 1/3 innings, allowed two runs on seven hits and had seven strikeouts. It was a nice bounce back from his last start, when he gave up five runs to the Dodgers in 3 1/3 innings -- his shortest outing of the season.
Wood did allow a home run to Domonic Brown in the second inning, which was just the second homer Wood has allowed to a left-handed batter this season. He also ran into trouble in the seventh when John Mayberry Jr. led off the inning with a double, but Wood much more resembled his All-Star self than in his previous start.
"I thought I was pretty strong," Wood said. "I had the lead there, Mayberry ended up fisting one down the line. Then [catcher Erik] Kratz got him over and they ended up getting him in, that's baseball. They did what they were supposed to do. But I felt strong, I felt good."