After watching the Philadelphia Phillies score like crazy the previous two days, the Chicago Cubs held them to a half-dozen runs Sunday.
Of course, that was plenty for Phillies ace Curt Schilling.
Schilling won his fourth straight start, striking out a season-high 13 over seven innings, as Philadelphia completed a three-game sweep of the Cubs with a 6-2 win.
The Phillies had 50 hits and 41 runs in the series, their first three-game sweep of the Cubs in Philadelphia since 1994. The 41 runs were a club record.
Keeping the Cubs off balance with a mid-90s fastball and a changeup, Schilling (12-4) tied St. Louis' Kent Bottenfield for the National League lead in wins. He gave up two runs and five hits, and also went 2-for-2 with an RBI.
"The gameplan was for me to pitch inside and it was successful," Schilling said. "My command of my fastball has not been what it was the last two years but this was as good as it has been. If the fastball is really working, it sets up the splitter and changeup."
Schilling raised his season strikeout total to 128, second in the NL behind Arizona's Randy Johnson (188). It was his 46th career double-digit strikeout game but just his second of the season. He fanned 11 Florida Marlins on April 17.
"With Schill, strikeouts were the story the last two years," Phillies manager Terry Francona said. "But, he knows that the 12-4 record is what is the most important thing for this ballclub."
Schilling, who will make one more start before the All-Star break, didn't wilt under extreme heat conditions. Despite temperatures that reached 160 degrees on the field, he threw 117 pitches, 82 for strikes.
"It was a tough day for the pitchers. Schill came over to me after the second and said he was tired. It was really hot out there and that makes it any easy day to make a mistake," Francona said.
One of his two mistakes came t Sosa in the second when the slugger turned a high fastball into a home run. Schilling responded in incredible fashion, striking out nine of the next 11 batters he faced.
"I just concentrated on making good pitches," Schilling said. "Quality pitches are what count. If you make quality pitches, the chances are the strikeouts are going to come."
"I made a couple of mistakes, but solo homers are not momentum changers."
Steve Montgomery pitched the eighth, working out of a two-on, two-out jam when he retired Sosa on a groundout with the help of a great play by third baseman Scott Rolen.
The Phillies roughed up Kevin Tapani (6-5) for six runs and 10 hits in the first four innings. Tapani then pitched three scoreless innings to become the first Cubs starter to complete seven innings since Jon Lieber threw seven against the Phillies on June 25.
Tapani allowed 12 hits, struck out five and walked one.
"Kevin did a heck of a job and it was something this club really needed," manager Jim Riggleman said. "He had to throw a lot of pitches in the first couple of innings when the defense didn't exactly help him out. It was more pitches than he should have thrown."
Alex Arias had three hits for the Phillies, while Rolen drove in two runs.
Doug Glanville led off the first with a ground-rule double and scored on Rolen's RBI double.
The Phillies added four runs in the second on Arias' RBI double, Schilling's run-scoring single, Doug Glanville's fielder's choice and Rolen's RBI single.
Rico Brogna's RBI single in the fourth gave the Phillies a 5-1 lead.
Chicago's Sandy Martinez hit his first homer of the season in the fifth, cutting the deficit to 6-2.
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