The Phillies (29-30) kept this season’s theme of one-run victories going tonight, as tonight’s game went down to the wire, but Jeanmar Gomez was electric in tonight’s ballgame, keeping the Cubs (40-17) at bay in his six out save and preserving the Phillies win. Jerad Eickhoff has been improving mightily since his rocky start to the season, and tonight’s performance one of his best all season. The Phillies also got some timely hitting that allowed to take and keep the lead early on in the ballgame, as the three runs provided to the pitching staff was just enough to get the job done and tie this series up at one game a piece.

The Phillies were only able to get six hits in tonight’s game, but the timing of those hits was what allowed the Phillies to put up the three runs they did. Maikel Franco opened up the scoring tonight with a line drive base hit into right field that scored Freddy Galvis to give the Phillies a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the 1st. The second run of the game was provided by The Big Piece. Ryan Howard, whose season-long struggles this season and recent reduction of playing time are no secret to anyone, was looking to get back on track tonight and prove he can still contribute to this Phillies team, and he did just that in the 4th inning when he launched a ball into deep right field that had just enough distance on it to get out and give the Phillies the 2-0 lead. Odubel Herrera drove in a key insurance run in tonight’s contest with a single into left field with two outs in the bottom of the 7th that put the Phillies lead at 3-1. The Cubs were also only ably to get 6 hits tonight, with the lone player that drove in a run being center fielder Dexter Fowler.

Phillies starter Eickhoff gave the Phillies seven strong innings tonight, as he allowed only one run on two hits and two walks while striking out eight batters. Eickhoff has struggled at times this season, but has picked it up late and turned in arguably his best performances of the year tonight as he held one of the best lineups in baseball to one run on two hits. Eickhoff turned the ball over to Hector Neris in the top of the 8th inning, but Neris’ struggles continued tonight as he allowed the bases to load without recording an out. Manager Pete Mackanin decided to bring in Jeanmar Gomez for a rare six out save in today’s game. The first batter Gomez faced, Fowler, drove in a run that was charged to Neris via a sacrifice fly that made it a 3-2 ball game. With runners on 1st and 2nd with only one out, Gomez got Jason Heyward to ground into an inning ending double play that halted the Cubs rally. Gomez returned for the ninth, and with the tying run on third base,  got David Ross to ground out to shortstop to end the game and earn his 19th save of the season. Eickhoff earned the win in tonight’s ballgame improving to 3-8 on the season with an ERA of 3.68, while Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks earned the loss, giving him a 4-5 record and an ERA 2.90.

The Phillies and Cubs will play a rubber match tomorrow a 1:05 p.m. at Citizen’s Bank Park. Phillies starter Vince Velasquez (5-2, 3.67 ERA) is scheduled to throw against veteran Cubs starter John Lackey (6-2, 2.88 ERA). Both of tomorrow’s probable starters have pitched very well this season, so we could be in for another pitcher’s duel in tomorrow’s series finale.

Photo: Go Phightins! (via: Wikimedia Commons)

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