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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, August 31st (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (62-73) at Chicago Cubs (57-77), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - Cliff Lee (11-6, 3.07) Chicago - Chris Rusin (2-3, 2.64)
(Sports Network) - Cliff Lee has mastered the Chicago Cubs over his career, and today he can help the Phillies continue their recent success at Wrigley Field.
Lee is 4-0 with a 1.77 ERA in six career games versus the Cubs. The lefty recently ended an overall skid in which he went 0-4 in six starts and snapped the string with a victory at the New York Mets on Monday when he allowed five hits and a run over eight innings.
After rallying from a five-run deficit to post a 6-5 victory yesterday in manager Ryne Sandberg's return to Chicago, the Phillies have won five in a row at Wrigley Field.
Chris Rusin will try to stop the Phillies from another series win against the Cubs. Philadelphia is 4-0-1 in its last five series against the Cubs with their last loss occurring in a four-game set at Wrigley from July 15-18, 2010.
Rusin didn't get a decision in Chicago's 3-2, 15-inning loss Sunday at San Diego. The southpaw tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings of three-hit ball, walking a career-high four while striking out three to run his road scoreless-innings streak to 19 1/3 frames.
At home, the 26-year-old has lost his last three starts and hasn't posted a triumph at Wrigley Field since Sept. 14, 2012 versus Pittsburgh. That's the lone home win over his career. This will be his first time facing the Phillies.
Michael Young capped off a four-hit afternoon by driving in the game-winning run in the ninth inning yesterday.
Kevin Gregg (2-4) hit Roger Bernadina with a pitch to put him on base to start the ninth. He proceeded to steal second and was plated on Young's single that blooped into shallow right.
Kevin Frandsen went 2-for-3 with a triple and a home run for the Phillies, who have won four of their last six.
Both starters gave up five runs. Roy Halladay lasted five innings for the Phillies, while NL Player of the Week Jeff Samardzija tossed 6 2/3 innings with six strikeouts for the Cubs.
"I was cruising along and all of a sudden I was misfiring and getting the ball up," Samardzija said.
Anthony Rizzo and Nate Schierholtz both hit solo shots for the Cubs, who have lost eight of their last ten.
B.J. Rosenberg (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth before Jonathan Papelbon recorded his 23rd save of the season for manager and former Cubs' Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg, who heard cheers in his return to Wrigley Field.
"The empty seats is something new to me," Sandberg said. "From '84 on I was a tough ticket and I was a sellout. It was odd to see the bleachers that empty."
The Phillies have won 12 of their previous 16 meetings with the Cubs, taking two of three at home from Aug. 6-8.
08/31 10:24:46 ET
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