It looked like a possible mismatch: Cubs power lefty Ted Lilly against Phillies fill-in Rodrigo Lopez. But the Phillies' lefty-heavy lineup got to Lilly early and often, jumping ahead 5-0 on a three-run Raul Ibanez home run in the first and a two-run blast by Carlos Ruiz in the second. Lopez, meanwhile, ducked out of trouble in the third and fourth innings, leaving two Chicago runners on in each frame. The Phils delivered a knockout blow to Lilly in the fourth, scoring four more runs, and the competitive portion of the game was over.
Lopez worked through six innings, allowing a run on five hits and three walks, to improve to 2-0 and perhaps plant another seed of doubt in the minds of team decision-makers looking a few weeks ahead to who will have to go to make room for Pedro Martinez. Chad Durbin worked the final three innings to pick up a save, and Ryan Howard slugged his 24th home run of the year in the eighth inning, one shy of Ibanez for the team lead. The win was the Phillies' ninth straight, the first time they've hit that number since April 30-May 9, 2006, and evened the team's home record at 23-23--lifting them to the .500 mark at Citizens Bank Park for the first time in 2009.
Joe Blanton faces Cubs righty Rich Harden as the series continues Tuesday evening.