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(Friday, April 4th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 7, Chicago 2
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryne Sandberg fittingly managed his team to a win on the 100th anniversary of famed Wrigley Field Friday afternoon.
Unfortunately for Chicago Cubs fans, Sandberg was managing the Phillies and not the team that made him a household name as a Hall-of-Fame second baseman.
Chase Utley homered and drove in three runs and Philadelphia spoiled the Cubs' home opener with a 7-2 win on a crisp, overcast day in the Windy City.
John Mayberry clubbed a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the eighth inning to give the Phillies some breathing room, something they sorely needed having suffered consecutive walk-off losses to the Rangers in their opening series.
Offseason acquisition Roberto Hernandez (1-0) yielded two runs on three hits and a walk over 5 1/3 effective innings to pick up his first NL victory.
Travis Wood (0-1), Chicago's lone All-Star last year, was tagged for four runs -- three earned -- on six hits over 6 1/3 innings as the Cubs dropped their fourth straight home opener.
Wrigley Field was without its signature green ivy along the outfield wall, but the nostalgia was nonetheless present for a park that opened in 1914 and began serving as the Cubs' home two years later.
Chicago started the season on the road in Pittsburgh and salvaged the three- game series with a 3-2 win on Thursday.
Welington Castillo staked the club to an early lead Friday when he crushed a solo homer into the left-field bleachers in the second, and Darwin Barney's heads-up baserunning led to another run in the third.
After singling and getting sacrificed to second, Barney never stopped running when Starlin Castro bounced one into the hole on the right side. Utley ranged to his left and made a diving stop, but the ball squirted away and Utley's throw home was not in time to get a hustling Barney.
The Phillies countered with seven unanswered runs, first taking advantage of shoddy fielding in the fourth as Marlon Byrd reached on Luis Valbuena's error and scored when Domonic Brown's two-hopper bounced over Castro's glove at short.
"We were just trying to put some good at-bats together. We got some guys on base," Utley said. "I felt like we got a lot of guys on base throughout the course of the game. We were able to capitalize on a few of those."
Utley hit what turned into the deciding homer in the fifth, as his towering shot carried into the seats in right-center for his first home run and scored Carlos Ruiz -- who singled in the previous at-bat -- ahead of him.
In the seventh, Ben Revere scored from second when Utley singled in front of Ryan Sweeney in right, and Mayberry took Wesley Wright deep to left an inning later with a line drive into the left-field bleachers.
Brown's double over Junior Lake's head in left field plated a slow-moving Ryan Howard all the way from first in the ninth to account for the final margin.
Jake Diekman, Justin De Fratus, Antonio Bastardo, Mario Hollands and Jeff Manship kept the Cubs hitless over the final 3 2/3 innings.
"We've been having good at-bats. I think guys are seeing pitches," Barney said. "We're getting to the starter a little bit, getting his pitch count up, but we're not keying in on certain situations."
Revere and Brown each recorded three of the Phillies' 11 hits ... The Cubs only had one runner in scoring position past the third ... Emilio Bonifacio, who went 11-for-16 against the Pirates, went 0-for-3 with a walk ... Sandberg, along with fellow Cubs Hall-of-Famers Fergie Jenkins, Ernie Banks and Billy Williams, joined together in throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.
04/04 20:00:57 ET
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