Cubs fastest to 40 wins since '01 Mariners

June 6th, 2016

PHILADELPHIA -- Maybe June will be kinder to Jason Heyward.

The Cubs' right fielder hit a two-run home run to right field in the fourth inning Monday night in a 6-4 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Heyward entered the month with just one home run, but he has homered twice in the first week of June. With the win, the Cubs become the fastest team to reach 40 wins since the 2001 Mariners, who are tied for the most regular-season wins in MLB history (116) with the 1906 Cubs.

• Sir Charles visits Maddon, Cubs in Philly

"We just kept the proverbial grinding out of the at-bats," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "We scored enough runs, we caught the ball on defense. We've had great starting pitching. You score six runs and have to fasten your seat belts in the ninth."

Freddy Galvis saved the Phillies from their third shutout of the season when he ripped a three-run homer to right field in the ninth inning off Justin Grimm. It snapped a 0-for-22 streak for Galvis. Tommy Joseph followed with a solo homer to center against Hector Rondon to make it a two-run game, before the Cubs closer retired three straight Phils to seal the win.

• Howard trying to avoid being distraction

"That was like two different innings, the first eight innings and the ninth," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "It was good to see the guys fight back."

"That's why they call them the Phitin' Phils, right?" Maddon joked.

• Lester comfortable on, off mound


Lester does it himself: As if eight innings of shutout ball weren't enough, Jon Lester added a fourth-inning double, too. The ball rocketed off his bat at 103 mph, per Statcast™, into left-center field for his second hit of the season. Although he didn't get a chance to finish off his shutout, Lester was dominant up until his last pitch. The lefty finished his performance by facing the minimum over his final six innings. The only Phillies hitter to reach base after the second inning was Joseph, who was doubled up the next play. Lester allowed only four Phillies to reach base -- all on singles -- and struck out nine. He became the first Cubs pitcher since Rich Harden in 2008 to record consecutive nine-strikeout, no-walk starts.

"That's two outings in a row of him having great command," Maddon said. "He mixed his speeds, he was throwing strikes. He's really been on top of his game. Good for him, man. It's outstanding to see him pitch that way."

Morgan hangs: Mackanin indicated before the game that left-hander Adam Morgan needed to start pitching better to keep his job in the rotation. Morgan allowed three runs in six innings, which might have helped his cause. Two of the runs Morgan allowed came on Heyward's fourth-inning homer.

"You can't really look into that," Morgan said about any sense of urgency before the start. "You look into that, you take away your game plan."

Leading off: Dexter Fowler extended his strong 2016, reaching base in four of his five trips to the plate. In each of the two innings he led off, Fowler reached and came around to score. The only player in baseball with a higher on-base percentage is teammate Ben Zobrist, with a .438 mark. Monday's effort raised Fowler's OBP eight points to .429, jumping three places into second.

"The goal should always be to score first," Maddon said. "That should be a baseball team's goal. … So when you have guys having the kind of year he's having and you have [Kris Bryant] coming on strong behind him, and of course [Anthony Rizzo], yeah, when Dexter gets on, it really looks like a nice first inning."

Fowler got hit in the finger in the eighth inning, but he stayed in the game and Maddon expects him to be fine.

• Joseph continues streak as 'the Scorpion'

Joseph hits again: Joseph started his sixth consecutive game at first base and he singled to left field in the seventh against Lester, before he hit a solo homer to center in the ninth off Rondon. Joseph is hitting .375 (9-for-24) with one double, two home runs and three RBIs since Mackanin said he planned to give Joseph the opportunity to earn the everyday job over Ryan Howard.

"I've just stuck to my approach every day," Joseph said. "The swing feels comfortable."


"When you're walking to school and every time you take the road to school there's a big tough guy that beats you up and takes your lunch money, after a while I think you're going to take a different route. Likewise, the hitters have to figure it out. 'I'm not going to keep doing what I'm doing. That guy is not going to beat me up and take my money anymore. I'm going to go around him.'" -- Mackanin, on Phillies' hitters making the same mistakes at the plate

• Soler to undergo MRI on left hamstring


Cubs left fielder Jorge Soler left the game in the third inning after pulling up short on a hit to left field. Soler was diagnosed with a left hamstring injury. He walked off the field under his own power, with no apparent limp. Matt Szczur entered the game for Soler and took over for him in left field.


Fowler led off the first with a double, and Bryant followed it up with a blast to right. The ball bounced back into the field of play, and Bryant turned for third. He made it, but was sent back to second base after a crew-chief review determined a fan in the right-field seats touched the ball. Despite losing a base, Bryant still earned an RBI, as Fowler was awarded home on the ground-rule double. The review was a lengthy one, lasting 4 minutes, 48 seconds.

Fowler was involved -- more directly -- in a second replay review in the eighth inning. Andrew Bailey went up and in with an 0-1 fastball that tailed into the handle of Fowler's bat. Umpires ruled that Fowler was hit by the pitch, but the Phillies challenged to no avail. Mackanin is now 11-for-21 on challenges this season.


A fan sitting near the Cubs' dugout got hit in the side by a bat that slipped out of Galvis' hands in the third inning. She left the field under her own power and is said to be OK.


Cubs:Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 2.84) starts for the Cubs in the second game of the three-game set in Philly at 6:05 p.m. CT. The right-hander owns a sparkling 1.99 ERA at home but a 4.37 mark away from Wrigley Field.

Phillies: Howard is expected to start at first base Tuesday night against the Cubs at Citizens Bank Park at 7:05 p.m. ET. It will be his first start since May 31, as Mackanin benched Howard last week in favor of Joseph. Mackanin said he could make a decision about how he will use Howard and Joseph going forward in the next few days. Jerad Eickhoff will take the ball for the Phillies.

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