PHILADELPHIA -- The Cubs finally scored some runs, had an early lead and made a late charge. But it still was not enough against the Phillies.
Edwin Jackson had his worst start in more than a month, and the Phillies held on against the Cubs, 9-8, at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night. It was the Cubs' eighth loss in nine games, and only the third win for the Phillies since the All-Star Break.
The Cubs scored four runs in the second inning, and three more in the ninth after they were shut out in their previous two contests and scored just six runs against the Dodgers in a four-game series. However, Jackson was touched up for seven runs in five innings, and the bullpen also surrendered two runs.
"We had the exact kind of game we didn't want when we scored," Cubs manager Dave Sveum said. "Obviously, giving up nine, you're not going to win too many of those."
Jackson allowed runs in four of his five innings and gave up 10 hits -- five for extra bases.
The right-hander's worst inning came in the fifth when Chase Utley had an RBI triple after Jimmy Rollins led off with a walk. Utley scored on a Domonic Brown groundout, which Darin Ruf followed with a towering solo homer to left field to give the Phillies a two-run lead.
"Today was just a matter of not necessarily getting in a rhythm, a lot of balls up in the zone," Jackson said. "It doesn't matter what team you're facing, when you're leaving balls up, it's not too good."
Jackson had put a string of good starts together before Tuesday's outing, and he had a 1.83 ERA and 4-1 record in July. The 29-year-old said he would not let what happened against the Phillies take away from the strides he made last month.
"I worked too hard to get back to form to let one game bring me back down," Jackson said.
The loss was Jackson's 12th, but his teammates almost got him off the hook at the last minute.
Against Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon -- who has blown six of his last 13 save opportunities -- the Cubs were able to make Phillies fans nervous in the final inning. The Cubs trailed by four at the start of the frame, but got hits from Logan Watkins, David DeJesus and a two-run single from Nate Schierholtz to make it 9-7.
Starlin Castro then hit a fly ball to left field that should have ended the game, but Brown botched the catch, Schierholtz scored and the Cubs still had life.
"We got the win, but I can't drop the ball in that situation like that," Brown said. "I'm supposed to catch that every time, not nine out of 10."
However, with the potential tying run on third and go-ahead run on first, pinch-hitter Thomas Neal hit a soft fly ball to left that Brown caught to end the game. Even though the rally came up short, Sveum is hoping it's something his team can build on.
"To score these runs, and have good at-bats and get some hits, that's something we needed," Sveum said. "We haven't had a whole lot of things to give these guys some confidence at the plate."
The Cubs got most of their early runs via the long ball. Donnie Murphy got the start at third base because Sveum said he was looking for production out of that position, and Murphy gave him just that with a three-run homer in the second inning. Anthony Rizzo tacked on a solo home run to right field in the third to put the Cubs ahead 5-2.
But the Phillies would score the next seven runs, and the Cubs remained winless in August.
"As a starter, any time you get that run support and any time you give up the lead, it's tough. It's a tough task to ask for your guys to keep going out once they give you five runs," Jackson said. "And more times than not, any pitcher on the staff, we feel like if we get five runs, we can win a ballgame. It's just one of those days where you didn't have good stuff and they were hitting the ball well when you did make a mistake."
Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.