Aaron Nola, Kyle Schwarber power Phillies past Cubs 12-3 to snap 5-game skid
PHILADELPHIA - Aaron Nola struck out 10 in seven sharp innings, Kyle Schwarber hit a grand slam and the Philadelphia Phillies snapped a five-game losing streak with an 12-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
Kody Clemens also went deep in Philadelphia’s six-run first inning, and Bryce Harper singled, doubled, walked twice and had an RBI for the defending NL champs. The Phillies had scored a total of 11 runs in losing seven in a row to the Cubs before eclipsing that just in Saturday’s outburst.
"I thought we had great at-bats all day long," Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson said. "Really good team win."
Dansby Swanson and Christopher Morel homered for Chicago.
Nola (4-3) gave Philadelphia a much-needed deep outing by a starter. He gave up four hits and walked one while reaching double-digits in strikeouts for the first time this season and 28th in his big league career.
"Filling up the zone," Nola said of the key. "My fastball felt really good and my curveball felt sharper."
Philadelphia gave Nola a big cushion in the opening frame.
Singles by Bryson Stott and Nick Castellanos and Harper’s walk loaded the bases with no outs against Jameson Taillon (0-3). Taillon threw 10 balls in his first 15 pitches. After an out, Schwarber launched his fifth career grand slam 435 feet into the second deck in right field.
"Got a hanging curve and was able to put a good swing on it," Schwarber said.
A fielding error by third baseman Patrick Wisdom extended the inning. Clemens took advantage by driving a two-run shot into the seats in deep right-center. Taillon needed 36 pitches to get through the frame.
"Tough spot to put the team in," Taillon said.
The 6-foot-6 right-hander was lifted after loading the bases with one out in the third. Edmundo Sosa’s RBI single and Stott’s sacrifice fly scored two more, with both charged to Taillon.
"Hard to come back from an eight-spot in the first three innings, no matter who's out there," Cubs manager David Ross said.
The Cubs signed Taillon to a four-year, $68 free-agent deal this past offseason, but the 2010 No. 2 overall pick has struggled. His ERA for the season climbed to 8.10. In his last four starts, he has a 12.08 ERA while pitching a total of 12 ⅔ innings over that stretch.
"I feel great, just not making the right pitches at the right time," Taillon said. "Just kind of all over the place. It's crappy, especially being on a new team in a new place."
Taillon said he'll take a deep dive into his pitches and believes better command is the key to future success.
"You have no choice but to punch back," he said.
Morel's solo shot in the eighth gave him seven home runs in 10 games since his minor league call-up. He hit 16 homers in 113 games with the Cubs last season.
TIMEOUT FOR TURNER
Thomson gave star shortstop Trea Turner the day off for a mental reset and extra work with hitting coach Kevin Long. Turner has struggled in his first season in Philadelphia after signing a $300 million deal in the offseason. His average dropped to .257 after going 0 for 4 and hearing some boos in the Phillies’ 10-1 loss to the Cubs on Friday night. He has 53 strikeouts in 199 plate appearances.
The Phillies' announced crowd of 42,508 was their 12th sellout in 20 home starts. Thomson is appreciative of the turnout.
"It's great to play here — even when they're booing," he said. "They let you know when you're playing poorly, and they let you know when you're playing well. And that's OK."
Cubs: RHP Codi Heuer (right elbow surgery) is scheduled to make a rehab start on Sunday at Triple-A Iowa.
Phillies: Philadelphia transferred 1B/DH Darick Hall (right thumb surgery) to the 60-day injured list to make room for RHP Dylan Covey, who was claimed off waivers from the Dodgers.
Cubs LHP Justin Steele (6-1, 2.44) faces Philadelphia RHP Taijuan Walker (3-2, 6.53) in the finale of the three-game series Sunday.