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Cubs turn back Phillies

This news story was published on April 28, 2012.
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By Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune –

PHILADELPHIA — It wasn’t the outcome most expected, especially with Roy Halladay facing a Cubs lineup that has been missing in action most of the season.

But Paul Maholm managed to outpitch Halladay on a cool Friday evening at Citizens Bank Park, leading the Cubs to a 5-1 victory over the Phillies.

(PHOTO: The Philadelphia Phillies’ Placido Polanco watches Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto look for a wild pitch from pitcher Paul Maholm during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Friday, April 27, 2012.)

“Obviously he’s a great pitcher and you know he’s not going to give up a ton,” Maholm said. “I didn’t want to put the first two guys on base. … It took a little while, but luckily I kept throwing up a couple of zeros, and the defense was making plays. I think I had one punch-out, so there were a lot of ground balls.”

Maholm (2-2) took a shutout into the seventh inning, and wound up allowing one run on five hits over 61/3 innings.

“It’s great to see him bounce back like this the last two starts,” manager Dale Sveum said.

The Cubs came into the game with a five-game road losing streak and the worst road ERA (6.43) in the National League. But Maholm, James Russell and Rafael Dolis did their jobs, starting the seven-game road trip out on the right foot.

Amazingly, Halladay has only one victory in six career starts against the Cubs, despite allowing three or fewer runs in five of those.

“I don’t think you ever have any explanation about beating the best pitcher in baseball,” Sveum said. “It’s just one of those things. Tonight it only took two runs, basically. … It didn’t look like we were going to do a lot against his fastball and cutter.”

Speedy outfielder Tony Campana helped spark the victory with two infield hits and a pair of runs. Campana is hitting .389, playing well defensively and stealing bases.

With Marlon Byrd gone, Sveum said he expects to give Campana 80 percent of the starts in centerfield.

“That’s awesome,” he said. “That gives me a chance to show what I can do, and hopefully I can stay there for a long time.”

Halladay (3-2) retired the Cubs in order the first three innings before Campana bunted his way on to start the fourth, promptly stole second and came home on Castro’s RBI single.

“Just trying to get a hit,” Campana said. “Tie game. … When I first bunted I didn’t know if it was going to be far enough away or not, but I was able to sneak in there.”

The Cubs added two runs in the sixth, with Campana once again igniting things with an infield single on a routine grounder to short. Alfonso Soriano drove home the first run, before Ian Stewart’s opposite-field double made it 3-0.

Campana, Starlin Castro, Russell and Dolis are part of the Cubs heralded youth movement.

“I came up with Starlin and got to play with (Bryan) LaHair a lot last year,” Campana said. “That stuff helps when you kind of know the way they play.”

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