Jeff Samardzija was “stellar’’ for five innings Friday, cruising against the Phillies with a 5-0 lead before a sixth-inning meltdown.
But that big lead could have been bigger had the Cubs not wasted some of their other early scoring opportunities, manager Dale Sveum admitted.
“Obviously, twice in one week and to see this at home,’’ he said of blowing five-run leads. “We can’t get a big hit to seal the deal.’’
Samardzija, named National League player-of-the-week Monday, had a one-hit scoreless shutout going until pinch hitter Kevin Frandsen started the sixth with a triple. Three more hits followed, including a Chase Utley triple in a four-run innng.
Frandsen homered in the seventh to tie the game before a run in the ninth off Kevin Gregg (2-4) gave the Phillies the come-from-behind win.
“I felt good and had some quick early innings,’’ Samardzija said. “It just got away from me a little bit.’’
The Cubs left nine men on base, including in the fifth when Anthony Rizzo and Dioner Navarro singled. But Nate Schierholtz and Donnie Murphy were retired and only Rizzo scored when Brian Bogusevic singled but was out trying to take second.
Navarro tried to break the tie in the seventh after he singled and was at second after Schierholtz walked. But Murphy struck out and Navarro was out at the plate trying to score on Darnell MacDonald’s single.
“I knew they would send me in a tie game and I was trying to get a good lead off second,” Navarro said. “We couldn’t catch a break today.”
Navarro credited the Phillies for “making adjustments” against Samardzija later in the game.
“The first ball Frandsen hit was a tough break, but you’re facing a real good lineup, too,” he said. “We got through the lineup the first and second time, but they started making adjustments. It was just a tough day for us.”