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View Count: 238 |  Publish Date: April 04, 2014
Phillies take series opener against Cubs, 7-2
Ryan Lawrence, Daily News Staff WriterPosted: Friday, April 4, 2014, 5:42 PM
CHICAGO -- Roberto Hernandez was motoring along in his Phillies debut in the sixth inning. After striking out Starlin Castro to begin the inning, Hernandez had retired six straight batters and hadn’t allowed a hit since the third inning.
But catcher Carlos Ruiz came out to chat with Hernandez after the Castro strikeout. And before the veteran starting pitcher could throw another pitch, another mound meeting took place with Ryne Sandberg coming out from the dugout.
Sandberg made the somewhat curious decision to pull Hernandez and had the final 3 2/3 innings of work to a bullpen that gave up leads in each of the two previous games.
But on the 100th season opener in the storied history of Wrigley Field, the Cubs Hall of Famer and current Phillies manager saw his decision come up roses. More coverageVOTE: Do the Phillies need to find a new closer?Are Phillies bullpen woes on Sandberg? POLL: Most popular Phils infielder from this era in 20 years?PHOTOS: 2014 Phillies Spring TrainingFollow the Phillies: Download our FREE Pro Baseball app!VOTE: Who will win the NL East?Latest Phillies videos Forum: Can the Phillies contend in 2014?
After Hernandez was staked a lead thanks to a two-run home run by Chase Utley, the relief corps team of Jake Diekman, Justin De Fratus, Antonio Bastardo, Mario Hollands and Jeff Manship tacked a quartet of zeroes on the Wrigley scoreboard and led the Phillies to a 7-2 victory.
The Phillies, up 3-2 when Hernandez exited, received some insurance for the bullpen when John Mayberry Jr. hit a pinch-hit, two-run home run in the eighth.
Whether Sandberg wanted Hernandez, who was at 73 pitches to leave on a high note or whether he wanted to reinvigorate his relievers, it worked on a frigid, blustery afternoon in Wrigley. The game time temperature was 38 degrees, with a windchill that made it feel like 28, and the infamous wind on the north side of Chicago was blowing out of the ballpark.
Both teams enjoyed wind-aided home runs.
With two outs in the second inning, Cubs catcher Welington Castillo launched a solo shot off Hernandez to open the scoring in the second. An inning after Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown put together back-to-back hits to tie the game, Utley ripped a fly ball to right-center that found the jet stream and carried into the ballpark’s bleachers to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead.
Even with Hernandez in a groove, Sandberg turned over that one-run lead to a bullpen that blew leads after the six inning in each of the Phillies last two games in Texas.
Diekman, the first out of the ‘pen, was summoned in to face a pair of lefties in Cubs’ three-hole hitter Anthony Rizzo and Nate Schierholtz. He got both batters out, striking out Schierholtz, the former Phillie, to end the inning.
Justin De Fratus followed, making his season debut. He was also perfect, setting the Cubs down in order in the seventh, culminating with an inning-ending strikeout.
Bastardo flirted with trouble, walking two of the first three batters he faced. But he got Starlin Castro to ground out to Utley for an inning-ending double play.
Hollands and Manship combined for a perfect ninth to seal the win. Previous Story:Papelbon and Phillies pen off to a rough startNext Story: Bolaris: Mother Nature throws Phillies out at home? Ryan LawrenceDaily News Staff Writer #post2 .pw-icon.ra1-pw-icon-reddit {background: url() 0px 0px no-repeat !important;width: 60px !important;height: 20px !important;margin-right:8px;}#post2 .pw-icon.ra1-pw-icon-email {background: url() 0px 0px no-repeat !important;width: 71px !important;height: 28px !important;}0 commentsReprints & Permissions »

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Time: 23:22  |  News Code: 394653  |  Site: philly.com
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