The Phillies’ manager was back at Wrigley Field on Friday, the venue in which he turned into a Hall-of-Famer and legend with the Cubs, and his current club came back from five runs down to beat Chicago, 6-5.
Sandberg received a huge ovation when he exchanged lineup cards prior to the game.
Roy Halladay then took the mound in his second start back from shoulder surgery, and was mysteriously erratic. Halladay plunked two batters, threw behind another and nearly hit pitcher Jeff Samardzija when the Cubs’ starter was putting down a sacrifice bunt.
The Chicago temperature was in the mid-90s and Halladay was sweating heavily like anyone else would in such heat. Maybe the perspiration affected his grip. Maybe it was a bad day in which command just wasn’t there.
Regardless, it was not a clean start like Halladay’s first.
The right-hander went five innings, gave up seven hits and five runs in 77 pitches. Halladay's fastball stayed in the 86-87 mph range and hit 88 mph on a few occasions. He walked two, struck out one and allowed two homers -- the first a windblown shot, the second a legit one.
But the Phillies’ bats made Halladay’s outing an afterthought. The Phils scored four runs in the sixth, tied the game in the seventh and won it in the ninth.
Chase Utley tripled home two runs in the sixth to make it 5-3 and Domonic Brown cut it to 5-4 with an RBI groundout. Kevin Frandsen knotted the score with a solo blast in the seventh. In the ninth, Roger Bernadina was hit by a pitch, stole second base and scored the go-ahead run on Michael Young’s fourth hit, a dump-shot single to right field.
The bullpen showed another sign of coming into its own. Zach Miner, Jake Diekman, B.J. Rosenberg and Jonathan Papelbon combined for four innings of scoreless relief.
Diekman has thrown nine straight scoreless innings, surrendering just five hits and one walk while striking out 14. Rosenberg is working on seven consecutive scoreless frames and has held opponents to a .130 batting average (3 for 23) over that span.
Brown left the game with right heel soreness after hitting in the sixth inning. The All-Star leftfielder was limping while running down the line on his RBI groundout.
According to CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury, it looks like Brown will need some time before he returns. However, also per Salisbury, Cody Asche could be ready in a day or two.
Cliff Lee (11-6, 3.07) opposes Cubs left-hander Chris Rusin (2-3, 2.64) on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m., ET.