Brewers mid-summer swoon continuesWisconsin Sports
-- Francisco Rodriguez failed to protect a three-run lead in the ninth inning last night, and the Milwaukee Brewers lost at Philadelphia 7-6.
PHILADELPHIA - Francisco Rodriguez failed to protect a three-run lead in the ninth inning last night, and the Milwaukee Brewers lost at Philadelphia 7-6.
The Phillies scored four runs in the final frame off Milwaukee’s new closer, and the Brewers walked away with their fourth straight loss – which ties a season-high. Carlos Ruiz tied the game with an RBI-single. And Ty Wigginton won it with a sacrifice fly that scored Erik Kratz. Rodriguez took the loss and dropped to 2-5. And he blew his fifth save opportunity of the year. It ruined a quality start by Randy Wolf, who gave up two runs in six innings. Those were back-to-back homers by Chase Utley and Ryan Howard – and Howard’s blast was originally ruled a double before a replay review overturned it. Joe Savery got the win in relief. He’s 1-2. Phillies’ starter Roy Halladay gave up six runs in six innings. And with three strikeouts, Halladay fell one short of two-thousand K’s for his career.
The Phillies lost Shane Victorino in the first inning after he was hit by a pitch, and was called out because he swung on strike-three. He bruised his right elbow. Carlos Gomez belted a three-run homer and scored three times for the Brewers, who keep fading from playoff contention. They’re now five-and-a-half games out of third place in the National League Central, 11-and-a-half away from the division lead, and eight games back for a Wild Card spot. The Phillies won back-to-back home games for the first time in almost a month – and they’ll host the Brewers again tonight. Right-hander Zack Greinke will make his first start in 11 days, while numerous scouts watch the possible trade candidate. Left-hander Cliff Lee will start for the Phils'.
Brewers’ starter Shaun Marcum will test his right throwing elbow today, when he throws in his first bullpen session since going on the disabled list in mid-June. Marcum is recovering from elbow tightness – and he’s been playing long catch with no problems. Marcum expects to throw 20-to-30 pitches today. If all goes well, he could throw a simulated game before heading off to a minor league rehab assignment.
Meanwhile, catcher Jonathan Lucroy could return to the Milwaukee lineup as early as Thursday after his minor league rehab assignment. He went 4-for-12 in four games with the Class-“A” Wisconsin Timber Rattlers with a double, two RBI’s, and a stolen base. Lucroy is expected to play two games for Triple-“A” Nashville, and then perhaps return to Milwaukee for the start of a series against the Washington Nationals on Thursday night. Lucroy broke his right hand in late May.
Brewers’ outfield prospect Kentrail Davis has been named the offensive player-of-the-week in the Double-“A” Southern League. The 24-year-old Davis batted .450 in six games for Huntsville last week, going 9-for-20 with a double, three triples, a homer, three RBI’s, and six runs scored. Davis has four homers this season – and all but one have come in July. The Brewers drafted him in the first round in 2009 as the 39th overall pick.