CHICAGO (AP) — A.J. Burnett's early control problems, compounded by Philadelphia's defensive woes, spoiled what could have been an impressive opening road trip for the Phillies.
Ryan Kalish had a two-run double and a triple in the first inning and the Chicago Cubs beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-2 on Sunday to avoid a sweep.
Carlos Villanueva (1-2) allowed a run in five innings in his first start and third outing of the season for the Cubs.
Burnett (0-1), who signed a one-year, $16 million contract with the Phillies after he spent the last two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, allowed eight runs, four earned, in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out three and walked six.
"I just didn't get it done, that's the bottom line. I was pitching behind. I missed some first pitch strikes, but the key today was throwing strikes. That was embarrassing. I don't care who you are that is unacceptable," Burnett said. "First pitch strikes are big and coming out and setting the tone is big and neither of that was done today."
The Cubs scored four runs in the first and sixth innings.
The Phillies finished their opening road trip with a 3-3 record. They return to Philadelphia on Tuesday for its home opener against the Brewers.
The game was originally scheduled for Monday, but it was pushed back due to impending inclement weather.
"It could have been easily 4-2, maybe 5-1, but 4-2, not a bad week, but it could've been better," Jimmy Rollins said.
Kalish opened up the scoring with an RBI triple in the first. It was his first hit since Sept. 11, 2012, when he played for the Boston Red Sox. The Cubs extended their lead to 4-0 on sacrifice flies by Nate Schierholtz and Ryan Sweeney and Starlin Castro's RBI double.
The Cubs scored eight runs and were 4 for 40 with runners in scoring position in their previous five games.
"They've strung together a lot of good at-bats over the last five or six days. We just don't have a lot to show for it," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "Today, we happened to have some balls find holes, and we took advantage of it."
Continue reading this story on the...