By AARON BRACY | Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Yan Gomes hit two home runs, Drew Smyly tossed six sharp innings and the Chicago Cubs completed a three-game sweep with a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.
Nelson Velázquez also went deep for the Cubs, who have won four in a row to pull within 19 games of .500. It was Chicago’s first series sweep of the season and first three-game sweep in Philadelphia since July 25-27, 2000.
“It feels nice to put some wins together,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “Pretty good all-around team win. Sweeps are hard.”
Garrett Stubbs homered for the Phillies, who failed to gain ground in the NL wild-card race against the lowly Cubs. Only the Reds, Athletics and Nationals entered the day with fewer wins than Chicago.
“It’s obviously frustrating,” Philadelphia’s Kyle Schwarber said. “Just have to have a short memory but learn from it.”
Cubs starter Drew Smyly (3-5) had a perfect game going into the fifth, when Bryson Stott hit a two-out double to left-center that just eluded a dive from center fielder Christopher Morel. Stott scored on Alec Bohm’s single to left.
Smyly allowed one earned run on four hits with four strikeouts and no walks.
“He mixed the breaking ball in really well, keeping those guys off balance," Ross said. "He was in control the whole way.”
Gomes led off the third with the first of his two shots off Bailey Falter (0-3) to give Chicago a 1-0 lead. Morel’s RBI double — his NL rookie-leading 26th extra-base hit — made it 2-0.
In the fourth, Gomes connected for his sixth career multi-homer game with a drive to nearly the same spot in left field. And the Cubs pushed it to 4-0 when Velázquez drove Falter’s 75 mph curveball over the wall in left two batters later.
“I told Yan he gets all the day games now,” Ross joked about the Cubs’ backup catcher.
David Robertson pitched a scoreless ninth for his 14th save in 19 chances. Robertson had to wriggle out of a jam. With runners on first and second and one out, Didi Gregorius popped out to left and then Robertson struck out Stubbs swinging.
“This game will put you on the highest of highs and lowest of lows,” Schwarber said. “We have to keep doing what we were doing. We saw the results were there right before the break and we have to keep doing that.”
Velázquez came off the bench to hit two late home runs in Chicago’s win on Friday night, marking just the second time that’s happened to a Cubs player since at least 1901. The Cubs finished the series with eight home runs, in addition to 25 runs and 33 hits.
Falter gave up four runs on five hits with five strikeouts and two walks in five innings.
CASTELLANOS DROPS DOWN
Interim Phillies manager Rob Thomson dropped Nick Castellanos down to the No. 5 spot in the lineup from the No. 3 hole.
Castellanos signed a 5-year, $100 million free-agent in the offseason but has struggled in his first year in Philadelphia, entering Sunday batting .245 with 8 homers and 46 RBIs.
The demotion came a day after Castellanos and a longtime local beat writer got into a heated postgame exchange that went viral on social media when the reporter objected to Castellanos calling a question about fans booing him a “stupid question.”
Castellanos was loudly booed after striking out swinging in his first two at-bats before receiving raucous cheers for a seventh-inning single. He heard boos again after popping out foul to first to lead off the ninth.
Cubs: INF Nick Madrigal (left groin strain) was scheduled to continue his rehab assignment at Triple-A Iowa on Sunday. Madrigal has been out since June 12. … LHP Wade Miley (left shoulder strain) is slated to throw live batting practice on Monday. He hasn’t pitched since leaving his June 10 start after three innings.
Phillies: Thomson was optimistic that Jean Segura (broken right index finger) might return sooner than expected following his workout on Saturday. Segura, out since June 1 and eligible to return from the IL on Aug. 3, could begin a rehab assignment sometime this week.
Cubs: Host the Pirates for two games beginning on Monday night, when Cubs RHP Adrian Sampson (0-1, 3.34) faces Pirates RHP JT Brubaker (2-8, 4.02).
Phillies: Start three-game series against Atlanta on Monday. Phillies LHP Ranger Suarez (7-5, 4.07) faces Braves LHP Max Fried (10-3, 2.64).
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