Cubs place struggling Arrieta on IL with hamstring tightness

Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — The Cubs placed struggling right-hander Jake Arrieta on the 10-day injured list Wednesday with right hamstring tightness and recalled righty Cory Abbott from Triple-A Iowa.

In a 15-10 loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday, Arrieta matched the second-shortest start of his big league career, lasting just 1 2/3 innings for his second straight outing. He gave up seven runs, tying a season high, and six hits after getting hit hard in Chicago’s 15-7 loss at Milwaukee last week.

The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner is 0-5 with a 9.67 ERA in eight starts since winning at Pittsburgh on May 25. For the season, Arrieta is 5-9 with a 6.30 ERA in 17 starts.

Chicago manager David Ross said Wednesday that a stint on the IL will give the 35-year-old Arrieta a chance to address the hamstring issue that has been bothering him since late May.

“I think he thinks he’s fine, but something’s going on with the way he’s pitching,” Ross said. “I think it’s best if we just take care of that and make sure that thing is not some of the cause of what’s going on with him. So just giving time to fully recover.”

Arrieta, one of the stars as the Cubs won the 2016 World Series, insisted after Tuesday’s game he isn’t finished.

“The stuff is too good,” he said. “I still have a lot left in the tank, there’s no question about that. The stuff plays. The execution’s not there. It hasn’t been for awhile. But I’ve been in similar situations in my career. I’ve been in worse situations than this.”

The 25-year-old Abbott returns for this third stint with the Cubs this season. He is 0-0 with a 4.32 ERA in four relief appearances after making his major league debut June 5 in San Francisco.

In eight starts for Iowa this season, Abbott is 1-3 with a 5.88 ERA.

Phillies’ 6-run ninth tops Cardinals in 6-3 wild-card win

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ST. LOUIS — Philadelphia scored six times in the ninth inning off the stingy St. Louis bullpen, highlighted by a bases-loaded single by Jean Segura, and the Phillies beat the NL Central champion Cardinals 6-3 on Friday in the opening game of their National League wild-card series.

The Cardinals, who were 74-3 on the season when leading after eight innings, were poised to put away another close game after Juan Yepez connected for the first go-ahead pinch-hit homer in franchise history with two outs in the seventh inning.

But after struggling all afternoon against Jose Quintana and the St. Louis bullpen, the Phillies finally got their powerful offense going against Ryan Helsley. JT Realmuto began the ninth-inning rally with a single, and walks for Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos loaded the bases before the All-Star closer plunked Alec Bohm to score a run.

The Cardinals training staff came out to check on Helsley, who had jammed the middle finger on his pitching hand earlier in the week in Pittsburgh. He tried to throw another warmup pitch but was pulled for Andre Pallante, who gave up Segura’s hit through the right side of the infield that put Philadelphia in front.

Edmundo Sosa added a run when he brazenly scored on Bryson Stott‘s grounder to first base, and Brandon Marsh drove in another run when a tough hop got past Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong.

By the time Kyle Schwarber added a sacrifice fly, Phillies reliever Zach Eflin had plenty of wiggle room in the ninth.

It looked as if Eflin might need it, too, when Nolan Arenado and Dylan Carlson reached base and Nolan Gorman hit a two-out single to right. But Eflin responded by striking Yadier Molina to end the game, leaving Philadelphia a win away from facing NL East champion Atlanta in the divisional round.

There was a sentimental breeze sweeping through Busch Stadium before the game. Ozzie Smith cheerfully walked to the mound to deliver a ceremonial first pitch, and if the flag-waving Cardinals fans packed into every nook and cranny closed their eyes during introductions, they might have thought they were watching a game a generation ago.

After all, some familiar faces were in the lineup from the last time St. Louis and Philadelphia met in the playoffs.

That was 11 years ago to the day Friday, when the Cardinals beat the Phillies in a dramatic pitchers’ duel between Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay in Game 5 of the NL divisional series. Molina and Albert Pujols played for St. Louis that night while erstwhile ace Adam Wainwright, pitching out of the bullpen this series, also was there to celebrate.

Just like that night in Philadelphia, pitching dominated most of Friday’s series opener.

Quintana, who arrived in a deadline trade from Pittsburgh, was masterful for the Cardinals, allowing only a single to Matt Vierling and a double to Bohm while pitching into the sixth. His day was done after fanning Schwarber for the second time on his 75th pitch, handing the game over to a relief corps that had been downright dominant this season.

Zack Wheeler was the equal of Quintana, allowing a leadoff single to Lars Nootbaar and nothing else until Tommy Edman‘s leadoff single in the sixth. Edman was left stranded on third when Paul Goldschmidt grounded out.

Wheeler departed after retiring Arenado to start the seventh. He struck out four and walked one on 96 pitches, his most since Aug. 20, shortly before the right-hander landed on the injured list with forearm tendinitis.

Then it came down to the bullpens, and the Phillies managed to overcome one of the best in the game.

UP NEXT

The Phillies will try for the wild-card sweep on Saturday night when they send right-hander Aaron Nola (11-13, 3.25 ERA) to the mound. He was stellar his last time out against Houston in clinching Philadelphia’s wild-card playoff spot.

The Cardinals will turn to right-hander Miles Mikolas (12-13, 3.29 ERA) to force a decisive Game 3. Mikolas struggled in a tune-up out of the bullpen in Pittsburgh but allowed one earned run over his last two starts.