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Harper's arm among 3 keys to Phillies' wild win

@Russ_Dorsey1
May 21, 2019

CHICAGO -- There were big-time moments from big-time players at a big time in the Phillies' 5-4, 10-inning win over the Cubs on Monday night. Here are three takeaways from Philadelphia's victory to open a four-game series between two first-place clubs at Wrigley Field: • Box score

CHICAGO -- There were big-time moments from big-time players at a big time in the Phillies' 5-4, 10-inning win over the Cubs on Monday night.

Here are three takeaways from Philadelphia's victory to open a four-game series between two first-place clubs at Wrigley Field:

Box score

Fifth-inning escape changes the game
There was a lot of emotion for Jake Arrieta in his Wrigley Field homecoming, but he battled his way through four innings, allowing just one run.

Things quickly took a turn in the fifth inning. Arrieta worked himself into a bases-loaded jam following a one-out double by Anthony Rizzo, a walk to Victor Caratini and a single by Jason Heyward.

"They made me work in and out of trouble through several of the innings," Arrieta said.

Arrieta was able to leave the bases loaded, however, with a little help from his defense.

Albert Almora Jr. lined a short fly to right field. Bryce Harper made the catch flat-footed, took two steps and fired a strike to home plate. J.T. Realmuto caught the ball and scurried to the plate with plenty of time to put the tag on Rizzo and end the threat.

"I thought I threw that ball to the third deck," Harper said with a smile. "Just tried to throw it as hard as I could to the plate and was lucky enough to get Rizzo right there."

The throw from Harper traveled 96 mph and covered 264 feet, according to Statcast, also helping to keep the Phillies' starter in the game. Had a run scored, Arrieta would have likely been done for the night at 90-plus pitches, but the inning-ending double play kept him in the game.

Arrieta cruised in the sixth inning and allowed just one run over his six innings for his seventh quality start of the season.

Lows and highs
The Phillies led 3-1 going into the bottom of the eighth, putting Arrieta in line for the win in his return to Chicago, but things did not work out that way. Reliever Seranthony Domínguez, who worked a scoreless seventh, came back out for the eighth.

In what normally would be a spot for Pat Neshek, Dominguez walked the first two batters of the inning.

"[Neshek] and I had a discussion before the game. He was a little sore," manager Gabe Kapler said. "We were going to get him up one time, and if we didn't use him in that one time, we were going to be disciplined and not use him in that situation."

Daniel Descalso lined the 1-0 offering from Dominguez into the gap in left-center field. Center fielder Odúbel Herrera and left fielder Andrew McCutchen both looked like they had a chance, but the ball split the gap past a diving McCutchen and rolled to the wall for a two-run triple. Jean Segura attempted to throw out Descalso at third, but the relay throw hit one of his shoes and went out of play.

When the play was over, three runs had scored.

"I think it was a communication challenge. McCutchen looks up and I know he saw some lights, so he just had to put his head down and run to the spot. I think both of them felt each other getting close," Kapler said. "I think with a little bit better communication, that ball is caught."

Even after seeing the lead slip away in the eighth inning, the Phillies still had three outs to get something done.

Maikel Franco's one-out double gave an offense that had been rather quiet an opportunity to tie the game in the ninth. McCutchen, who missed making the diving grab minutes earlier, worked a walk after being down to the Phillies' final strike.

The next batter, Segura, who also had a miscue in the previous inning, blooped a single over the head of an outstretched Rizzo, tying the game at 4.

"We lost momentum in the eighth inning when they took the lead," Realmuto said. "Maikel coming up with a huge double, and then that walk from McCutchen won't get talked about enough. Keeping the inning alive and then [Segura] with a huge hit to tie it."

Realmuto plays the hero
Realmuto had his fingerprints on the game from the beginning. Whether it was helping Arrieta work through trouble or his role on the play at the plate in the fifth, Realmuto seemed to come up in the right spot for the Phillies all night.

With two outs in the 10th inning, Realmuto sent the tiebreaking home run deep into the bleachers in left field, giving Philadelphia the eventual 5-4 victory.

"He led our team and really took control of the game in every aspect," Kapler said. "He was on point with his pitch calling, with his receiving. I thought he led our pitching staff. And obviously, the home run was enormous."

"I'm definitely feeling more locked-in," Realmuto said of the 10th-inning homer. "As long as I'm having good at-bats and hit the ball hard, the power will come."

The Phillies have now won a season-high four straight games and have picked up where they left off from an offensive standpoint during their series against the Rockies.

Russell Dorsey is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter @Russ_Dorsey1.