CHICAGO -- The Phillies couldn't capitalize on another erratic outing from Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood and dropped another close one in their 4-3 loss on Thursday at Wrigley Field.Philadelphia loaded the bases twice against Chatwood, who walked seven and allowed four hits through 4 2/3 innings, and came up empty
CHICAGO -- The Phillies couldn't capitalize on another erratic outing from Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood and dropped another close one in their 4-3 loss on Thursday at Wrigley Field.
Philadelphia loaded the bases twice against Chatwood, who walked seven and allowed four hits through 4 2/3 innings, and came up empty each time. The Phillies stranded at least one on base in each of the first seven innings.
"I think we knew going into the game that he's had a history of being a little erratic," catcher Andrew Knapp said about Chatwood. "I think there's something to be said about effectively wild. You've just gotta stay in every pitch even though he was all over the place."
Down, 1-0, in the fifth, Carlos Santana laced a one-out single to right field to bring home Odubel Herrera. Chatwood walked both Dylan Cozens and Knapp to load the bases with two outs before Brian Duensing relieved him and got Maikel Franco to pop out to short.
"There's no question we can do a better job," manager Gabe Kapler said about leaving runnings on base, "but it's not for lack of effort. It's not for lack of preparation. It's not for lack of understanding what the opposing pitchers' game plans are. We just haven't executed in those situations."
The Cubs finally got to starter Nick Pivetta in the home half of the fifth. They loaded the bases with one out before Thomas La Stella and Kristopher Bryant recorded back-to-back RBI singles to put them ahead, 3-1. Anthony Rizzo followed with a flyout to left, which was originally ruled a double play when Albert Almora Jr. was called out at home after tagging up at third, but a successful Cubs challenge found Knapp had illegally blocked the plate.
"The ruling at the plate I understood," Kapler said. "I watched the replay several times and I thought the ball took Knappy toward the plate. It's a judgment call. I understand it's a very difficult call to make."
The overturned call proved to be crucial an inning later when shortstop Scott Kingery ripped a two-run double with one out to bring the Phillies within one. The Cubs retired the next two hitters to escape further trouble.
Rizzo smacked a solo home run to right in the fourth inning for the first run of the game. It was his 10th of the season and second in as many days.
The Phillies finished 3-7 on their road trip, though Kapler said he's still encouraged by what he saw from his team.
"We proved that we can go toe-to-toe with some of the best teams in the National League," Kapler said. "That felt like a playoff atmosphere out there."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The overturned call on Rizzo's sacrifice fly was the difference in the final score, and it didn't sit well with Pivetta. Had the original ruling been upheld, the right-hander would have limited the Cubs to two runs in the inning.
"Baseball's changed," Pivetta said. "It's just changed."
HE SAID IT
"We're young. When you go to places like Wrigley or L.A. and you're in ballgames, it gives you a lot of confidence. Especially down the stretch when we're going to be playing in games that mean a lot, it's going to be a good experience to get these ones and know that we belong." -- Knapp, on the road trip
The Phillies return home for the first time in June to face the Brewers on Friday night with right-hander Vince Velasquez on the mound vs. righty Jhoulys Chacin. Velasquez, who turned 26 on Thursday, has found his groove over his past six starts. In that stretch, he's struck out 45 and walked 13 in 33 2/3 innings. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Matt Martell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.