The Chicago Cubs got the tying run to second base, but they couldn't quite get the job done on Thursday as they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies.
With runners on second and third with one out in the ninth inning, Addison Russell struck out and Victor Caratini flew out to left field to end the contest and leave the Cubs with a sour taste in their mouths after a series split with the Phillies.
Jon Lester struggled again on the mound for the Cubs, giving up seven runs in four innings of work. The Cubs' bullpen largely held things in check over the final five innings, giving up two runs, but a rough day on defense helped seal the team's fate on Thursday afternoon.
Aaron Nola picked up his fifth win of the season, and Hector Neris registered the save in a winning effort for the Phillies.
Anthony Rizzo hit his 13th home run of the season for the Cubs, and Kyle Schwarber also went deep for the North Siders in the losing effort.
The game got off to a rocky start for the Cubs, as the Phillies built up a 7-0 lead over the first four innings of the contest. Bryce Harper had an RBI single in the first inning, and J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura added home runs in the third and fourth innings to allow the Phillies to race out to the big lead.
From there, the Cubs slowly but surely chipped away at the advantage. Rizzo and Albert Almora Jr. helped get the Cubs to within four runs in a three-run fourth inning, and then in the seventh Schwarber and Rizzo hit back-to-back home runs to make it an 8-6 game.
After Andrew McCutchen drove in a run in the eighth inning, the Cubs responded in the ninth, as Tyler Chatwood roped an RBI double into the left field corner, leaving the team down two runs and with two runners in scoring position.
Russell then struck out and Caratini flew out to left field to end the game and send the Cubs to a disappointing series split.
The Cubs will remain at Wrigley Field for a weekend series with the Cincinnati Reds beginning on Friday afternoon. Anthony DeSclafani will take on Kyle Hendricks in the series opener at 1:20 p.m.