By Sam Bush
Tommy Joseph (above) and Cesar Hernandez homered to back Jerad Eickhoff, and the Phillies beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3 last night in Chicago.
The Phils showed some spark at the plate and on the mound after getting outscored a combined 18-1 over the previous two games against St. Louis and Chicago.
The Phillies came away with the win after dropping five of seven and salvaged a two-game split in their first trip to Chicago’s South Side since 2004.
“These guys are grinding,” Eickhoff said. “They’re pushing themselves each and every night. For them to put some runs up there, it was a great feeling. I was just trying to keep us in the game and keep us getting in the dugout in any way, shape or form.”
Joseph and Hernandez both had two hits and went deep against James Shields (5-16). Aaron Altherr added two RBI singles.
Eickhoff (9-12) did his part, allowing two runs and four hits over six innings.
Jeanmar Gomez worked the ninth for his 34th save in 38 chances. He gave up an RBI single to Avisail Garcia before Dioner Navarro grounded out with runners on first and third to end the game.
Shields set a career high with his 16th loss.
The veteran right-hander gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked none.
The home runs by Hernandez leading off the third and Joseph in the sixth brought Shields’ total to 31 this season and 22 since the White Sox acquired him from San Diego on June 4.
“Honestly, I think the only pitch I made a mistake on was that last one, the home run in the sixth inning,” he said. “The ball kind of slipped out of my hand a little bit and I left it over the plate. Other than that, I felt really good with my location tonight. I was hitting my spots consistently. They were getting hits here and there, but that’s part of it.”
Shields is 0-4 with a 13.95 ERA in five starts this month after posting a 1.78 ERA over five outings in July.
Navarro hit a two-run homer in the sixth. But that was all the scoring against Eickhoff, who improved to 3-0 in his past five starts.