After scoring just 12 runs during their seven-game losing streak, the Phillies exploded for a half-dozen in the third and fourth innings Friday night to beat the Brewers, 6-3.
It ends a nightmarish run for the Phils, who hit .189 with half as many extra-base hits as their opponents during the skid.
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The Phillies (27-28) used a four-hit third inning to build a three-run lead, which was broken open an inning later by Andres Blanco's line-drive home run to right field.
Starting pitching report
Vince Velasquez again piled up strikeouts and again labored through a short outing. He was given a six-run lead but was unable to stay in long enough to earn a win. After walking Scooter Gennett to load the bases with one out in the fifth, Velasquez was pulled by manager Pete Mackanin. He had thrown 94 pitches in 4 1/3 innings.
Pitch counts were an issue for Velasquez last season with the Astros and continue to be this season with the Phillies. He's averaging 16.7 pitches per inning, a high mark for a starter. For reference, Aaron Nola is averaging 14.5 and Jerad Eickhoff 15.5. May not seem like a big disparity but it is and it adds up. It's the difference between throwing 100 pitches in six innings or 100 pitches in seven.
Velasquez slowed things down to a crawl with men on base Friday. He took 30 to 40 seconds between pitches at times in the second inning.
Brewers right-hander Jimmy Nelson, who entered with a 2.88 ERA, allowed six runs on seven hits and three walks in four innings. He threw 34 strikes and 29 balls.
Jeanmar Gomez earned the save — his major-league-leading 18th — but Andrew Bailey may have actually saved the game in the fifth inning. He relieved Velasquez with the bases loaded, one out and Milwaukee's best two hitters due up in Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy. It took Bailey 10 pitches but he induced a Braun groundout and a Lucroy flyout to end the threat.
Bailey pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings and was credited with the win, improving to 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA in 16 appearances.
Hector Neris got himself into and out of trouble in the eighth, walking Braun and Lucroy to start the inning before getting Chris Carter to ground into a 5-4-3 double play.
Gomez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. Eight of his 18 saves have been perfect innings.
At the plate
Cameron Rupp blasted an opposite-field homer for the Phillies' first run and started their second rally with a one-out double. It appeared Rupp was thrown out by a wide margin at second base, but the tag was missed and he was ruled safe after the Phillies challenged.
Blanco's three-run shot came with two outs in the fourth.
Odubel Herrera walked in each of his first three plate appearances, scoring twice. His on-base percentage is .427.
Tommy Joseph, who keeps squaring the ball up, had two well-struck singles out of the cleanup spot. The singles had exit velocities of 109 and 106 mph, according to MLB.com. The league average is 89 mph.
Jimmy Paredes drove in his first run as a Phillie with a third-inning single.
In the field
After catching a routine flyout with one out in the second inning, Herrera simply dropped the ball on the transfer, allowing an alert Lucroy to advance from second to third, where he was stranded. It was the Herrera's sixth error of the year, most among all major-league outfielders.
Braun robbed Cody Asche of extra bases in the second inning. Asche drilled a ball to the opposite field but Braun retreated, timed it perfectly and leapt to catch it just in front of the chain-link fence in left.
On the bases
Herrera was thrown out at the plate easily from right field to end the first inning. Joseph laced an opposite-field single and the offense-starved Phillies got aggressive in sending Herrera from second. Domingo Santana's strike from shallow right field beat Herrera by about 10 steps.
The four-game series with Milwaukee continues Saturday at 3:05 p.m. when Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 3.68) opposes right-hander Junior Guerra (3-1, 3.47).