Once again, bats nowhere to be found for Phils

PBR - After a dreadful first start in place of the injured Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick set out to put it all behind him and focus solely on pitching a better game against the Cubs at home.

Sure, Kendrick may have pitched better for the Phillies, but it was not enough as the offense once again was anemic, providing very little support and two hits total Sunday afternoon in a 5-1 loss to Chicago at Citizens Bank Park.

Kendrick settled for another loss after six quality innings, allowing three runs on five hits and seven strikeouts. But, the song remains the same: the bats need to come alive to manufacture the runs.

Jimmy Rollins led off the first inning with a single, but the Phillies (10-12) were hitless until the ninth inning when Hunter Pence singled in hopes of sparking a rally.

With two outs and the bases loaded, a perfect chance to extend his 13-game hit streak, Ty Wigginton opted to take the walk and score Pete Orr to dodge the shutout. But, Shane Victorino grounded out to end the game in the next at-bat.

It was the opposing starter Matt Garza that was on his game, throwing 10 strikeouts over seven innings of one-hit ball and using a sharp slider for an out-pitch to fool the Phillies lineup. 

In the fourth, Joe Mather hit his first home run of the season for the Cubs (also was first HR from outfielder for club) off Kendrick to make it 3-0. That run came only one inning after shortstop Starlin Castro hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Tony Campana from third on a close play at the plate.

Castro knocked in Campana again in the eighth on a fielder's choice.

Both Jose Contreras and David Herndon came out the the bullpen for the Phillies in relief, with Herndon allowing two runs in his two innings.

Chicago (8-14) started the scoring for the day in the second inning when Bryan LaHair scored following a ground-rule double. LaHair ended the day 3-for-4 with two runs.

Tomorrow night, the Phils will put Vance Worley on the hill for the final game of the series against Cubs Chris Volstad. First pitch scheduled for 7:05.

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