Aaron Nola struck out 10 in seven good innings, Kyle Schwarber hit a grand slam and the Philadelphia Phillies snapped a five-game skid with a 12-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
Kody Clemens also deepened Philadelphia’s six-run first inning, and Bryce Harper singled, doubled, walked twice and had an RBI for the defending NL champions. The Phillies had scored a total of 11 runs in losing seven in a row to the Cubs before eclipsing that alone in Saturday’s outburst.
Dansby Swanson and Christopher Morel homered for Chicago.
Nola (4-3) gave Philadelphia a much-needed deep start from a starter. He allowed four hits and one walk while reaching double figures in strikeouts for the first time this season and 28 in his major league career.
Philly gave Nola a big cushion in the opening frame.
Singles by Bryson Stott and Nick Castellanos and Harper’s walk loaded the bases with no outs off Jameson Taillon (0-3). Taillon pitched 10 balls on his first 15 pitches. After one out, Schwarber threw his fifth career grand slam 435 feet to the second deck in right field.
A fielding error by third baseman Patrick Wisdom extended the inning. Clemens took advantage by hitting a two-run shot to the seats in deep right center. Taillon needed 36 shots to get through the frame.
The 6-foot-6 right-hander was picked up after loading the bases with one out in the third. Edmundo Sosa’s RBI single and Stott’s sacrifice fly scored two more, both charged to Taillon.
The Cubs signed the second overall pick in 2010 to a four-year, $68 free agent deal last offseason, but Taillon has struggled. His ERA for the season went up to 8.10. In his last four starts, he has a 12.08 ERA while pitching a total of 12 ⅔ innings over that span.
Morel’s solo home run in the eighth was his number seven in 10 games since being called up to the minor leagues. He hit 16 home runs in 113 games with the Cubs last season.