Phillies win 9-1 to finish 4-game sweep of Brewers
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- In back-to-back innings, Jimmy Rollins broke up Matt Garza's no-hit bid and a shutout.
Soon enough, a frustrating afternoon at the plate for the Philadelphia Phillies turned into a laugher at Miller Park.
Rollins' two-out, two-run single in the eighth sparked a seven-run outburst that helped Philadelphia complete a four-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers with a 9-1 win Thursday.
What a nice way for the last-place Phillies to head home after a 10-game road trip that had started 1-5.
"I feel a lot better about the last four games. That's something we can build on," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "To see the offense come alive for a four-game series against good pitching, I think it's a step in the right direction."
Rollins greeted reliever Will Smith in the eighth by singling to left to drive home two runs. After throwing 108 pitches, Garza (6-6) had just been pulled from the game to a standing ovation but could only watch helplessly from the dugout as his shutout evaporated.
"Baseball is a funny game. (Garza) goes from a no-hitter to getting a loss and we get no-hit and then win it," Rollins said.
The Phillies sent 12 batters to the plate in the eighth and got RBI ground-rule doubles from Ryan Howard and Cody Asche. Philadelphia swept a four-game series for the first time since taking four in Cincinnati in 2011.
Now if Philadelphia can just carry over their winning streak back to Citizens Bank Park, where they are 18-27, maybe their fans will have something else to talk about this summer other than trade rumors.
"This series should help with that with some momentum," Sandberg said about the subpar play at home.
Rookie David Buchanan (5-5) struck out five in seven innings for the win, tossing one of his best games of the season in allowing just four hits. Carlos Gomez scored the Brewers' only run with a solo shot to left-center to lead off the sixth for a 1-0 lead with Garza' no-hit bid still intact.
It ended quickly after Rollins led off the seventh with a hard chopper past diving first baseman Mark Reynolds for a single into right.
What followed was a swift and startling change of fortunes for a team clinging to its lead in the NL Central despite having lost five straight and nine of 10.
"It happens, man. My job is to not get guys on base. You leave two guys on, especially two guys with speed, and you pay for it," Garza said. "But it is what it is, you turn the page. We can't dwell on it too long."
Perhaps more disappointing for the Brewers is that they were swept at home by the last-place team in the NL East that had been swept in its previous series in Pittsburgh.
Asche and Dominic Brown each joined Rollins with two RBIs in the eighth. Things were going so well for Philadelphia that pinch-hitter Cesar Hernandez got to come up to the plate twice in the inning.
"I look at the final score and that's ridiculous. We're way too good of a team, we have way too good of a bullpen to let a game get away like that," manager Ron Roenicke said.
The Phillies' eighth finally ended after Hernandez's infield single was overturned to an out following a Brewers replay challenge.
Howard added a two-run shot in the ninth for his 15th homer of the year.
Gomez's homer was his 14th of the season. Otherwise, Milwaukee's lineup continues to struggle. After climbing to a season-high 19 games over .500 on June 28, the Brewers have watched their 6 1/2-game lead whittle away with second-place St. Louis due in town for a weekend series.
NOTES: The Phillies swept Milwaukee in four games on the road for the first time. ... OF Ryan Braun returned to the lineup after missing a few games with a sore back. He hit fifth for the first time since 2008. ... The Brewers announced after the game that top pitching prospect Jimmy Nelson would be recalled from Triple-A Nashville to start Saturday against St. Louis, bumping Marco Estrada to the bullpen. Nelson was 10-2 in the minors, while Estrada had allowed a major league-high 27 homers. ...RHP Yovani Gallardo (5-5) opens the St. Louis series on Friday, while Philadelphia returns home to open a weekend series with Washington by sending RHP A.J. Burnett (5-8) to the hill.
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