Thome blasted a 3-0 pitch, Estes' 113th of the game, to the opposite field. The slugger, who signed a six-year, $85 million contract with the Phillies in the offseason, has homered in three straight games and four of the last five.
"Everybody in the ballpark knew he was swinging," Cubs manager
said. "We knew he was swinging. The ball just came back over the plate. It was supposed to be away."
Thome is hitting .395 over his last nine games, and the Phillies have won 11 of their last 13.
"We've been getting timely hitting during this streak," Phillies manager
"It's fun," Thome said. "When you're on winning streaks like this, you don't want to talk about it too much. You just want to keep showing up."
Estes (6-7) had given himself and the Cubs the lead in the third inning with his fourth career home run and first this season. The Cubs extended the lead to 3-0 in the next inning with an RBI single by
and a passed ball that scored
Estes allowed four runs and seven hits. The lefthander struck out seven and walked four.
"A lot of times in a game, it is one pitch that determines the game more times than not," Estes said. "If you make 34 starts, you may have about 15 games that one pitch could have made a difference."
Despite the Cubs' bullpen struggles over the weekend, Baker insisted that he was not worried about going to a reliever against Thome, even though he stayed with his starter.
"It was two outs," Baker said. "Shawn was throwing the ball good and he was leading off the inning. I didn't have any thoughts of going to the pen at that point."
Estes became the fourth Cubs' pitcher to homer this season, marking the first time the Chicago staff has had four pitchers do it since 1970, when Ferguson Jenkins,
, Joe Deger and
(7-7) left the game for a pinch hitter in the seventh, when Philadelphia trailed 3-2, but picked up the win after Thome's homer.
Padilla allowed three runs - two earned - and five hits in seven innings. The righthander struck out five and walked two.
"I was throwing a lot of fasballs in the first three innings," Padilla said through an interpreter. "From the third inning on, I was using breaking balls. That really helped me."
Padilla has issued only four walks in his last four starts, a span of 28 1/3 innings.
worked the eighth inning to set up closer
, who pitched for the fourth straight day. Mesa picked up his 18th save, ending the game by getting Troy O' Leary to ground out with the tying run in scoring position.
The Phillies are 11 games over .500 for the first time since August 28, 2001.