After escaping Philadelphia on Sunday with another extra-inning victory, Lou Piniella stated the obvious.
"This is not the city of brotherly love for us," Piniella said.
The Cubs beat the Phillies 6-5 in 10 innings for their third extra-inning victory on the opening trip, finishing with a 4-2 record.
Derrek Lee saved the day with a brilliant stop to prevent the winning run from scoring with two outs in the ninth, and Chase Utley's throwing error on a potential double-play grounder off the bat of pinch-hitter Carlos Zambrano brought home the go-ahead run in the 10th.
Kerry Wood notched the win with two innings of scoreless relief, and Bob Howry posted the save, inducing So Taguchi to ground out with two men on to end it.
"We played a lot of baseball on this road trip," Piniella said. "Get a day off Monday and regroup, and we've got a nice homestand with Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and the New York Mets coming in. See what happens."
Before the game, Piniella said the Cubs were "fortunate" to be in position to end the trip with a winning record despite "some of the problems we've had in the rotation and with our offense." But the offense was just good enough Sunday, and starter Jason Marquis pitched in and out of trouble during a five-inning stint, allowing two runs on four hits while walking five.
Luck was also on the Cubs' side. They led 3-2 in the sixth when Mark DeRosa hit a controversial home run off Jamie Moyer that appeared to land to the left of the left-field foul pole. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was ejected for arguing the call. Piniella said he thought the ball was fair.
"All I needed was the umpire's finger point in, and that was enough for me," he said. "It did look fair. Did you all see it?"
Told that it appeared to be foul, Piniella pretended to be shocked.
"Really?" he said. "You mean the umpires were wrong?"
But the Cubs' lead was short-lived. Phillies shortstop Eric Bruntlett homered for the first time since 2005 leading off the sixth against Michael Wuertz, who gave up four straight hits, including the game-tying RBI single by Jayson Werth.
Utley's sacrifice fly off Sean Marshall brought home the go-ahead run, before Geovany Soto's pinch run-scoring single off J.C. Romero tied it again in the eighth, setting up the wild finish.
The Cubs' offensive inconsistency is troubling, but Ryan Theriot, who had two hits, said this lineup is too good to stay down for long.
"We've been hitting the ball hard, but they're just not just falling in," he said. "You've just got to stay true to your game and what you do, knowing eventually they'll fall. We'll put some runs together, string some hits together and start to see this offense click like it should.
"I think we're not far. [DeRosa] could easily be sitting on five homers now. I think it's coming."
Piniella is considering changes to wake up the offense, though he didn't mention any names.
"We've had some good offensive days, and then other days when we haven't done much," he said. "About the only thing I can do is start putting more speed into the lineup. When you don't have much speed and you're not hitting, you look lethargic."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun