PHILADELPHIA — Trailing by four runs in the ninth, the Chicago White Sox staged a late rally that made a lot of Philadelphia Phillies fans very nervous.
It just wasn’t quite enough.
Odubel Herrera kept up his hitting surge with a homer among his three hits and drove in three runs as the Phillies held off a late White Sox comeback attempt in a 7-6 win Tuesday night.
“Offensively, we just kept chipping away and getting to a point, even in the last inning right there, you bring up the tying run,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We’ve got to be able to hold them, and that’s got to be the biggest thing.”
Tommy Joseph and Roman Quinn added two hits apiece and combined to drive in three runs for the Phillies. Herrera, who hits between Joseph and Quinn in the lineup, is 15 for 28 in his last seven games after slumping for most of the summer following his trip to the All-Star Game.
Melky Cabrera hit a three-run home run for the White Sox, who have lost four straight. Struggling veteran James Shields (5-18), winless since July 26, allowed six earned runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.
“It was kind of on and off,” Shields said. “I made some pretty good pitches that I thought they were going to hit the dirt and they got some hits on me, strung together a couple of hits when they needed to. I got the infield in and they got some holes. But I’ve got to do a better job of getting some outs there early.”
Trailing 7-3 in the ninth, the White Sox pulled within one on a two-out wild pitch and a two-run double from Adam Eaton. However, Michael Mariot came on and got Tim Anderson to ground out to short to end the game and pick up his first career save.
“It wasn’t pretty but we hung on to win that game,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “That was huge.”
Jake Thompson (3-5) gave up three runs and four hits over five innings to earn the win for the Phillies.
For the second straight game, the Phillies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. After Quinn walked, Herrera hit a 1-1 pitch into the Phillies’ bullpen for his 15th homer of the season.
Herrera also started a two-out rally in the third, singling and stealing second, before scampering home on Joseph’s two-out double. Joseph then came home when Anderson couldn’t handle a sharp liner off the bat of Maikel Franco, giving the Phillies a 4-3 lead.
Herrera’s big night continued in the fifth when he snuck a ground-ball through the hole between first and second to drive in Quinn and extend Philadelphia’s lead to 5-3.
“He’s more disciplined at the plate,” Mackanin said of Herrera. “He looks more like the guy we saw early in the season than the guy we did for the last six weeks. For whatever reason, he seemed to lose focus but he seems to be getting it back. That bodes well for us.”
Quinn’s two-run single in the sixth provided enough insurance for the Phillies to open their second-to-last home series of the season with a win.
Before the ninth, Chicago’s big inning came in the third. With two outs and nobody on, Anderson doubled and Jose Abreu walked before Cabrera lined a 1-1 pitch just inside the right-field foul pole for his 12th home run of the year, putting the White Sox ahead 3-2.
With two on and one out in the fifth, sure-handed Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis made a very nice sliding snag of Abreu’s grounder before starting an impressive inning-ending double play that killed Chicago’s rally.
STRUGGLING VS. THE PHILLIES
The White Sox are 2-7 in their last nine games against the Phillies dating back to June 11, 2007. It is their lowest winning percentage against any National League team in that span.
Juan Minaya, who pitched a scoreless seventh, has tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings to begin his career after making his MLB debut earlier this month. He has allowed only five hits in 26 at bats.
Phillies: Ryan Howard missed his third straight game because of knee soreness. He had his knee drained over the weekend.
The Phillies and White Sox close their two-game series Wednesday with Chicago LHP Chris Sale (16-8, 3.03) opposing Philadelphia RHP Jerad Eickhoff (10-14, 3.74).