Making his fifth start this season, Dobbs was 4-for-4, including a go-ahead two-run triple in the seventh inning. Carlos Ruiz and Chase Utley homered, Abraham Nunez drove in three runs and right fielder Shane Victorino threw two runners out at the plate, helping the Phillies (17-19) win their third straight game and move closer to .500.
Howard was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left quadriceps strain after the game. That means Dobbs should get more at-bats, though he won't start against left-hander Ted Lilly on Sunday.
"Having a guy like him out of the lineup is tough because he's such an impact player," Dobbs said of losing Howard. "It's extremely unfortunate. We're going to miss him. When you're a bench player, your starts are few and far between so you have to do your job."
Howry (0-3) entered and walked Pat Burrell. Dobbs then ripped a triple down the right-field line to put the Phillies ahead 8-7. Dobbs scored on Nunez's infield single. Ruiz followed with an opposite-field homer to right to give Philadelphia a four-run cushion.
"He's been swing the bat pretty good," manager Charlie Manuel said of Dobbs, who raised his batting average from .222 to .300.
Antonio Alfonseca (2-1) got the final two outs in the seventh, though he allowed Jacque Jones' tiebreaking two-run double after replacing Geoff Geary with two runners on. Brett Myers pitched two scoreless innings to finish it, striking out five.
"We got the momentum and before you know it, we get hit with a haymaker," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said.
The Phillies led 5-1 going into the seventh, but starter Freddy Garcia couldn't hold the lead. Garcia left after walking Mark DeRosa and allowing a double to Cesar Izturis. Geary entered to face Murton, who connected for his first career pinch-hit homer to get the Cubs within 5-4.
Alfonso Soriano followed with a single and moved to second on Cliff Floyd's tapper to Geary. Derrek Lee singled to right and Aramis Ramirez drove in the tying run with a single down the right-field line.
After a 64-minute rain delay, Alfonseca replaced Geary with runners at first and third. Michael Barrett lined out to third baseman Nunez, but Jones snapped an 0-for-16 skid with a two-run double to left-center to give the Cubs their first lead, 7-5. DeRosa followed with a single to right field, but Victorino threw Jones out at the plate.
Victorino also nailed Soriano trying to score in the sixth. He has six of the Phillies' major league-leading 17 outfield assists.
Victorino was thrown out trying to score on Utley's double to right in the eighth. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Victorino barreled into catcher Barrett, who held onto the ball.
Nunez drove in Philadelphia's first run with a fielder's choice in the second inning. After Nunez easily was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on a double by Ruiz, Garcia doubled to right-center to make it 2-0.
Ramirez had a two-out RBI single to cut it to 2-1 in the sixth. The Phillies answered with three runs in the bottom half. Utley lined an opposite-field shot to left. Nunez added an RBI triple and scored on a perfectly executed suicide squeeze by Ruiz for a 5-1 lead.
Garcia gave up three runs and eight hits in six-plus innings. He's 1-2 with a 5.17 ERA in six starts, hardly the performance the Phillies expected when they acquired the two-time All-Star from the Chicago White Sox in the offseason.
Cubs starter Angel Guzman allowed four runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. He's winless in 12 career starts, losing all six decisions.
- Soriano extended his career-best hitting streak to 20 games with a fifth-inning single. It's the longest for the Cubs since Jerome Walton hit in 30 straight in 1989.
- Lee went 4-for-5 and scored two runs.