Sloppy Phillies Lose 9-4 to Brewers
Philadelphia Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg spent spring training stressing the importance of playing fundamental baseball. That message hasn’t paid off yet.
The Phillies committed two more errors, including Ryan Howard’s costly eighth-inning miscue that allowed the go-ahead run to score, in a 9-4 defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.
It was the third straight loss for Philadelphia, which upped its total to nine errors in eight games.
“We definitely have to straighten things up,” said Sandberg, in his first full season at the helm after taking over for fired Charlie Manuel last Aug. 16. “We’re working on it.”
The Brewers snapped a 4-all tie in the eighth when they scored three runs on one hit off Antonio Bastardo (0-1). Mark Reynolds scored the go-ahead run on an error by Howard, who let Logan Schafer’s grounder go into right field.
Schafer got an RBI on the play, although it appeared as if Howard would have had a chance to get Reynolds at home.
Reynolds reached third after a walk, stolen base and wild pitch. It was one of three steals for the Brewers, something that also disappointed Sandberg.
“They had two stolen bases off lefties,” Sandberg said. “We’ve been working with them on that and will continue to.”
Ryan Braun, who hit three homers Tuesday, broke the game open with a two-run triple to the wall in left-center that made it 7-4.
Carlos Gomez and Reynolds homered and Jean Segura doubled and drove in a run for Milwaukee, which has won all five games during the streak on the road beginning with a sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway.
Tyler Thornburg (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings of relief to earn the victory.
Braun, who served a 65-game suspension for violations of major league baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract, was booed during each of his four putouts and every at-bat – none louder than when he reached third in the eighth.
Reynolds hit a two-run homer in the ninth.
“We’re just getting hit after hit and it’s fun to be a part of,” Reynolds said. “Offenses go through this, they just click. Guys get big hits. You go through these streaks where it’s fun to be a part of and tough to get us out. We’re just going to ride this streak out as long as we can.”
Philadelphia starter Roberto Hernandez allowed four runs – three earned – on seven hits in five innings while coming within one strikeout of matching his career high with nine.
“Hernandez threw the ball well,” Sandberg said. “He was mixing his pitches and did a nice job.”
Brewers starter Matt Garza gave up four runs – three earned – on eight hits in six innings with four strikeouts and two walks.
The teams combined for five runs on four hits and two errors in a shaky first inning where both teams looked in early season form. Milwaukee scored a pair of the runs in the top half, bolstered by four-time Gold Glove winner Jimmy Rollins’ rare error at shortstop.
Philadelphia took the lead with three runs in the bottom half that included a Garza balk and second baseman Scooter Gennett’s throwing error.
Segura’s second-inning RBI double tied it at 3 and the Brewers went ahead 4-3 on Gomez’s solo homer to left in the fourth. As is his custom, Gomez eschewed the traditional home-run trot for an all-out sprint around the bases.
Marlon Byrd’s single to center in the fifth tied it at 4.
Ben Revere, criticized in Philadelphia on Wednesday for making an error and misplaying another ball in Tuesday’s 10-4 home-opening loss, made a spectacular, diving catch to rob Gennett of a hit in the second inning.
Manager Ron Roenicke successfully challenged a first-inning out call by second base umpire Adrian Johnson, who incorrectly ruled that Revere beat Garza’s throw to second. Replays, though, showed that Segura tagged Revere’s leg before he reached the bag. The replay caused a delay of 1:29.
Notes: Phillies 3B Cody Asche didn’t start due to a minor hamstring injury but entered in the ninth and doubled off the wall in right-center. . Five-time All-Star Chase Utley didn’t start for the second straight game due to the flu. Utley was available to pinch-hit. … Braun has 23 RBIs in 21 games lifetime at Citizens Bank Park. … Philadelphia LHP Cliff Lee (2-0, 6.00) faces Brewers RHP Marco Estrada (0-0, 1.59) at 7:05 Thursday in the third game of the four-game series.