Chicago Cubs’ Seiya Suzuki Hits a Three-Run Home Run during the Ninth Inning; Phillies Beat Cubs 6-4

CHICAGO (AP) — Trea Turner hit two long home runs, and the major league-leading Philadelphia Phillies hung on to beat the struggling Chicago Cubs 6-4 on Tuesday night.

The Phillies played without injured sluggers Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber. They got the pop they needed from Turner and a terrific performance by Michael Mercado (1-0) in his first major league start.

But it got close in the ninth.

José Ruiz came in and gave up singles to Michael Busch and Cody Bellinger before Seiya Suzuki smacked a three-run homer. Jeff Hoffman then struck out Ian Happ and Christopher Morel before retiring Dansby Swanson on a line drive to right for his seventh save.

The Cubs lost for the seventh time in nine games.

Mercado pitched two-hit ball over five innings to earn his first career win.

Garrett Stubbs gave Philadelphia a 2-0 lead with a two-run double in the second, and Turner took over from there.

“It’s that fine line of trying to make an impact but not trying to do too much,” he said. “A few days ago, I was trying a little too hard. Now, I feel the swing is getting there. I was getting good pitches to hit and just not missing them.”

Turner lined the first pitch of the third to about the 10th row of the bleachers in left-center. He made it 5-1 with a towering two-run drive in the fifth against Hayden Wesneski (2-5), giving him 15 multihomer games. The two-time All-Star added an RBI single in the seventh.

Mercado permitted one run in his second career appearance. The 25-year-old right-hander struck out four and walked two.

Mercado walked a batter and gave up a single to Suzuki in the first. In between, right fielder Nick Castellanos made a terrific backhanded catch while crashing into the ivy to rob Bellinger of an extra-base hit.

Mercado pitched out of that jam. The only other hit he allowed was Bellinger’s RBI double in the third.

“I think after that first inning, I was able to settle in a little easier,” Mercado said. “But that’s normal with any start no matter if it’s here, Triple-A or any time in my career.”

Gregory Soto, Orion Kerkering and Yunior Marte each worked a perfect inning before Ruiz ran into trouble.

The Cubs finished with five hits after being held to two in a 7-1 loss at NL Central-leading Milwaukee on Sunday.

“Disappointing, for sure,” Bellinger said. “We all had high expectations. I think overall, we still do. Today, I thought we put some good swings on the ball. Just some bad breaks, it looked like. We’ve got to keep on fighting.”

Wesneski went five innings, allowing five runs and five hits. The right-hander struck out seven and walked three in his fifth start this season and 22nd appearance.