PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies showed the value of timely hitting Tuesday night.
Philadelphia hitters struck out 15 times, but the Phillies still managed to beat the Chicago Cubs 4-2 before 26,942 fans at Citizens Bank Park.
J.T. Realmuto hit a home run in the fifth inning and gave the Phillies the lead for good with an RBI triple in the bottom of the seventh. Pinch-hitter Andrew Knapp led off the seventh with a single and scored on Realmuto's triple.
Realmuto's home run and triple both came with two outs.
"We haven't been great lately with two-out hitting or hitting with runners in scoring position," Realmuto said. "We need to do a better job of that. We feel like as an offense we can better. We have to puck up guys in front of us and behind us."
The win came hours after the Phillies announced they had fired hitting coach John Mallee and replaced him with former manager Charlie Manuel, who is expected to join the team Wednesday.
"We feel terrible for (Malle)," Realmuto said. "Nobody on this clubhouse feels like it's his fault. We take it personally as an offense. It's our job to put up runs. We didn't do that, and it cost a guy his job."
Philadelphia's offense has struggled since the All-Star break, and it was more of the same for much of Tuesday's game.
Cubs starting pitcher Jose Quintana struck out a career-high 14 and allowed just one earned run in six innings. Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts.
But the Phillies countered with some standout pitching of their own.
Starting pitcher Jason Vargas and relievers Blake Parker, Mike Morin and Hector Neris held the Cubs to just five hits.
"(Quintana) threw the ball great," Realmuto said. "But our guy (Vargas) matched him step for step."
The victory ended the Phillies' two-game losing steak and got their current six-game homestand off to a positive start. Philadelphia (61-58) remains in contention for a wild-card spot.
"If we're going to make the type of run we think we're capable of, it's going to be because we score runs," manager Gabe Kapler said. "The strength of our team is our offense. It hasn't been where it's needed to be thus far this season, but we certainly have the talent and guys with a track record. The reason we're going to get there is because we're going to swing the bats well."