The Phillies' rearranged top of the order produced early runs but not nearly enough of them against a Brewers lineup that came to town in a bit of a funk before teeing off at Citizens Bank Park.
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The Phils dropped this one Thursday, 11-3, and lost the final three games of the series after winning Monday's opener. They were outscored 22-6 in those three games.
Jean Segura, batting third, homered for a second straight game and drove in another run on a groundout. Bryce Harper, batting second for the first time as a Phillie, went 1 for 4 and scored a run.
But Milwaukee's offense was again too much, this time with the bottom of the order creating unexpected runs and another three-run homer from Yasmani Grandal, who seemed to come up with two men on in every at-bat this week.
The Phillies are 24-19 and 8-4-2 in their 14 series. They have a two-game lead over Atlanta heading into tonight's Braves-Cardinals game.
The Phils are 21-1 when they lead after six innings this season and 0-15 when they trail after six.
Up-and-down day for Eflin
Zach Eflin allowed four runs in five innings but was a bit more effective than that, with defense playing a role in two different run-scoring innings.
The first-inning home run Eflin allowed to Christian Yelich was on him - it was crushed to the bullpen in right-center.
In the third, opposing pitcher Zach Davies led off with a double and moved to third when Cesar Hernandez made the wrong decision on a groundball to second base. Hernandez aggressively went after the lead runner at third but Davies was safe, putting runners on the corners with nobody out and the heart of Milwaukee's order due up. Eflin popped Yelich up and was able to escape by allowing just one run.
An inning later with a man on third, Eflin's spikes appeared to get caught in the grass as he tried to field a bunt from Davies. It resulted in another run and Davies was safe at first.
As good as Eflin has been this season, he's allowed a league-high five hits to opposing pitchers, who are 5 for 14 with two doubles and a home run.
Eflin struck out seven and kept the Phillies in the game by escaping a few jams. In total, Phillies starting pitchers allowed 16 earned runs in 18 innings in the series.
Through nine starts, Eflin is 5-4 with a 2.91 ERA. His next start will be Tuesday at Wrigley Field against lefty Jose Quintana.
Another dominant series for Braun
No visiting player has ever done the kind of damage at Citizens Bank Park that Ryan Braun has, and it's remained that way even as he's declined. Braun has hit .261 overall the last three seasons but continues to pound the baseball every time he visits South Philadelphia.
Braun had two more hits Thursday afternoon and has 63 in 38 career games at CBP, where he's hit .420. In the series this week, he went 7 for 13 with a home run, four RBI and six runs scored. He reached base in 10 of 16 plate appearances.
The Brewers came to town with only one player, Yelich, clicking at the plate. They left with Lorenzo Cain, Braun and Grandal all heating up.
Scott Kingery had his rehab assignment transferred on Thursday from Class A Lakewood to Double A Reading, where the plan was for him to play nine innings at second base Thursday, then see time at third base and center field on Friday.
It looks as though Kingery could be recalled by the Phillies Saturday or Sunday. He will have missed nearly a month of big-league time after straining his hamstring on April 19.
In come the Rockies for a three-game series.
Friday night at 7:05 - Cole Irvin (1-0, 1.29) vs. Jon Gray (3-4, 4.25)
Saturday afternoon at 4:05 - Aaron Nola (3-0, 4.86) vs. Antonio Senzatela (3-2, 5.35)
Sunday afternoon at 1:05 - Jerad Eickhoff (2-2, 2.65) vs. LHP Kyle Freeland (2-5, 5.68)
While Coors Field has been a major challenge for the Phillies in recent years, they've played the Rockies well at home. The Phils are 16-10 against the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park dating back to 2012 and 6-4 in their last 10 meetings here.
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