The Phillies’ losing streak climbed to seven games in a 4-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday night.
The Phillies have been held to two or fewer runs in six of those games. For the season, they have been held to two or fewer runs 22 times in their 54 games, including nine of their last 13. They are averaging just 3.09 runs per game, worst in the majors.
Ten games ago, the Phils were five games over .500 and two games back in the NL East. Now they are two games under .500 and seven games back.
Starting pitching report
Jerad Eickhoff pitched solidly. He gave up just two runs over 6 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four.
Eickhoff gave up eight hits, three for extra bases. One of those was a solo homer to Chris Carter on 1-2 curveball with two outs in the fourth. It gave Milwaukee a 2-0 lead.
Eickhoff left the game after taking a ball off his lower left leg in the seventh inning. He had an X-ray but said he's fine.
Milwaukee right-hander Chase Anderson held the Phillies to three hits and a run over 5 2/3 innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out six. Anderson entered the game with an ERA of 5.00.
Hector Neris was outstanding. He inherited a no-outs, bases-loaded jam from David Hernandez in the eighth and proceeded to get three outs, two on strikeouts. The other out came on a nice defensive play by second baseman Cesar Hernandez, who had just entered the game as part of a double-switch.
Neris’ good work kept the Phillies within a run. However, the Brewers went up by three in the top of the ninth when Jeanmar Gomez gave up a two-run homer.
Three Milwaukee relievers combined on 3 1/3 scoreless innings with Jeremy Jeffress notching the save.
At the plate
The Brewers out-hit the Phillies, 12-5.
Maikel Franco came back from a night on the bench and hit the ball hard. He singled in the second inning and belted a homer in the fourth. Franco entered the game hitting just .247. He hit .230 in May. The homer was his team-high ninth.
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Tommy Joseph made his second straight start at first base and had two hits.
Newcomer Jimmy Paredes struck out in his first three at-bats then doubled in the ninth. He did not get past third.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Aaron Hill had back-to-back doubles in the second inning, accounting for the Brewers’ first run. Carter’s homer in the fourth gave the Brewers their second run and Jonathan Villar put the game out of reach with a long two-run homer into the Phillies’ bullpen in the ninth. Villar is a former Phillies prospect. He was traded to Houston in the Roy Oswalt deal in July 2010.
The Phillies activated outfielder Cody Asche from the disabled list (see story). Outfielder David Lough was designated for assignment. Asche started in left field and went hitless in two at-bats.
The series continues on Friday night. Vince Velasquez (5-2, 3.63) pitches for the Phillies against Milwaukee right-hander Jimmy Nelson (5-3, 2.88).