Lester shines as Cubs top Phils
PHILADELPHIA — Jon Lester dominated for eight innings, and the Chicago Cubs bullpen was just good enough in the ninth for yet another victory.
Lester pitched eight scoreless innings, Jason Heyward hit a two-run homer and the Cubs held off the Philadelphia Phillies 6-4 on Monday night.
Lester (7-3) improved to 6-0 in eight career starts against the Phillies while lowering his ERA against them to 1.46. He struck out nine, walked none and allowed four hits.
"He's really on top of his game right now," Maddon said.
Philadelphia scored all of its runs in the ninth after Maddon elected not to send Lester out for the last inning. Lester threw 95 pitches and had to wait out a lengthy top of the ninth.
"It was really an easy decision once we got the sixth run," Maddon said. "It just didn't play out right. We had to fasten our seatbelts in the ninth."
Lester said he didn't lobby hard to stay in the game.
"I told Joe I was fine, but I also told him that he's the manager," Lester said. "I've tried before with him, and I think I've won maybe one in the last two years. When he shakes my hand, I know it's one of those deals where it's pretty much done, so there's no real point in arguing."
Justin Grimm gave up a pair of singles and Freddy Galvis' three-run homer without recording an out. Closer Hector Rondon relieved Grimm and allowed Tommy Joseph's solo shot to center.
Rondon then got two quick outs before Odubel Herrera's pinch-hit single brought the tying run to the plate with two outs. Rondon got Ryan Howard to ground out to earn his 11th save in as many chances.
"That ninth inning was a lot of fun," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "It was good to see the guys fight back."
Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Dexter Fowler each had three hits for the Cubs, who won their 11th in 13 games while extending their best start since 1900 to a major league-leading 40-16. Chicago moved 10 games in front of second-place Pittsburgh in the NL Central.
Bryant had a pair of doubles and an RBI and Rizzo drove in two runs.