PHILADELPHIA — Just call him “The Natural.”
Called up from the minors too late to get a nickname on the back of his uniform for Players Weekend, Hoskins has put on a tremendous power display. He has nine homers and 21 RBIs in 16 games. No player in major league history has reached nine homers that quickly, according to MLB.com.
“I don’t know if it’s hit me yet, but it’s pretty cool to be mentioned in a sentence as ‘first ever,'” Hoskins said.
Hoskins said he probably would’ve picked “Hosk” if he could’ve chosen a nickname.
“I would’ve liked to be part of it because it’s pretty cool, but that’s OK,” he said.
Eickhoff (4-7) allowed one run and five hits, striking out eight in five innings. He has won four straight decisions.
“He’s good,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “He was able to throw his curve for a strike when he wanted to. He was really good at that.”
Jose Quintana (4-3) gave up six runs and nine hits in five innings, tying his worst start in eight outings since the Cubs acquired him from the White Sox.
Kyle Schwarber hit a solo homer in the first for NL Central-leading Chicago.
Hoskins connected in the bottom half to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.
Hernandez lined a bases-clearing triple in the second to make it 5-1 and Freddy Galvis followed with an RBI single.
Hoskins was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Aug. 10 after hitting 29 homers in 401 at-bats for the IronPigs. He went 0 for 12 to start his career so he has hit those nine homers in his last 13 games.
“He’s very impressive,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “He’s a professional hitter. I don’t want to get overly excited, but he has a good idea of what he’s doing.”
Maikel Franco hit a solo homer in the eighth to make it 7-1.
Maddon admitted he’s been dyeing his hair a darker shade of gray and joked about trying to achieve the blue-steel color Ben Stiller rocked in the Zoolander movie.
Cubs: Jake Arrieta wore “The Snake” on his uniform. Ben Zobrist is “Zorilla.” Javier Baez is “El Mago.” It means the magician in Spanish.
Phillies: Jorge Alfaro is “El Oso.” It means the bear in Spanish. Andres Blanco is “Whitey.”
CUBS: P Jon Lester threw a bullpen session Friday for the first time since going on the disabled list because of left shoulder fatigue. He threw 42 pitches in the bullpen and is set to throw a simulated game Monday.
PHILLIES: OF Daniel Nava was activated from the disabled list. He replaced P Jake Thompson on the roster. Thompson was sent to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after starting Thursday’s game.
RHP Kyle Kendricks (4-4, 3.52 ERA) goes for the Cubs on Saturday night while RHP Ben Lively (1-4, 3.70) takes the mound for the Phillies.
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