CHICAGO (AP) — Brad Miller hit three home runs in a game for the first time in his career, and the Philadelphia Phillies routed the sinking Chicago Cubs 8-0 on Thursday night.
Miller hit a solo drive in the third inning and added two-run homers in the fifth and seventh innings.
With a chance at joining the other 18 players who have hit a record four home runs in a game, Miller popped up in the ninth. He grounded out in his first at-bat.
Zach Eflin tossed six crisp innings as the Phillies took three of four games at Wrigley Field. Didi Gregorius added a two-run shot and All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto scored on a double steal.
The Cubs lost for the 12th time in 13 and dropped to 43-45 as they struggled at the plate without injured stars Kris Bryant and Javier Báez.
Miller hadn’t homered since June 6 and began the day with six home runs this season. The 31-year-old infielder broke out with his 14th career multi-homer game — he now has 104 homers in nine big league seasons.
It was 24th time a Phillies batter hit three homers in a contest and the first since Jayson Werth tagged Toronto for three in May 2008.
Miller homered early to left-center off Adbert Alzolay (4-9), who lost his fifth straight start.
Miller turned on Alzolay’s 0-2 pitch the next time up for a drive deep down right field line that made it 4-0. Miller launched the first pitch he saw from reliever Cory Abbott in the seventh off Wrigley’s right-field message board.
Eflin (4-6) scattered five hits while striking out five and walking one.
Chicago couldn’t muster much against Eflin after ending an 11-game losing streak, its longest since 2012, on Wednesday with an 8-3 win. The Cubs were in a first-place tie in the NL Central on June 24 when starter Zach Davies front-ended a combined no-hitter over the Dodgers.
The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the second when Realmuto plowed home on a double steal.