Sports

Phillies increase win streak to 10

PHILADELPHIA – The way things are going for the Philadelphia Phillies, it was only a matter of time before someone delivered a big hit.

Jayson Werth hit a three-run homer with two outs in the 13th inning to send the Phillies to their 10th straight victory, 4-1 over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.

The NL East-leading Phillies are on their longest winning streak in 18 years. They won 13 in a row from July 30 to Aug. 12, 1991.

“Everybody is just anticipating, waiting for it to happen because we have some big bats in our lineup,” said pitcher Joe Blanton, who allowed one run in seven innings.

Jimmy Rollins homered and the Phillies relied on a strong pitching performance to pull out another win. Four relievers threw six hitless innings. Clay Condrey (6-2) tossed a perfect inning to earn the win.

Jeff Samardzija (0-1) retired the first two batters he faced before walking Ryan Howard and Raul Ibañez. Werth then connected on a 1-1 pitch, launching his 21st homer into the seats in left. Werth circled the bases and stomped on home plate before getting mobbed by his teammates following his first career game-ending homer.

“It was a hanger and I was able to stay through it,” Werth said. “I was just trying to have a good at-bat. I didn’t need a homer. A single would’ve won it.”

In a pitcher’s duel between former Oakland teammates, Blanton and Rich Harden were outstanding. Blanton allowed five hits and struck out five. Harden gave up one run and four hits, striking out six in seven innings.

Blanton has been excellent since May 26, allowing three runs or less in nine of his 10 starts while lowering his ERA to 4.24 from 7.11. The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.32 ERA in that span.

Harden, who has struggled this season, has put together consecutive strong outings.

Pitching isn’t the problem for the Cubs, who won six of seven before coming to Philly. Chicago has scored the third-fewest runs in the National League.

“We’re challenged offensively,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “You don’t score runs, you don’t win no matter how good you pitch. I’ll tell you what. We might need a couple of hitters at the (trade) deadline.”

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