National League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, July 10 (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (40-51) at Milwaukee Brewers (52-40), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - David Buchanan (4-5, 4.82) Milwaukee - Matt Garza (6-5, 3.78)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Milwaukee Brewers are in a holding pattern when it comes to wins lately and will try again to get back on track when they close a four-game series versus the Philadelphia Phillies Thursday afternoon.
Milwaukee has lost four in a row, including the first three games of this set, and eight of its last nine. The club's lead atop the National League Central has fizzled down to just two games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals, who enter Miller Park for three games this weekend. The Cincinnati Reds have pulled within 2 1/2 games in the NL Central.
The Brewers suffered a 4-1 loss to the Phillies on Wednesday and starting pitcher Kyle Lohse absorbed the loss in a solid performance. Lohse allowed four runs and the go-ahead two-run homer by Jimmy Rollins in the sixth inning across eight innings of work.
Lohse, who served up Chase Utley's solo home run in the first inning, did not walk a batter and struck out eight. He was aiming for his 10th win (9-4).
"I thought he threw better than what the numbers were," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Lohse. "Made the mistake on Utley."
Lyle Overbay plated Aramis Ramirez on a single in the second inning and finished 2-for-3 for the Brewers, losers in four straight at Miller Park. Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun (back) missed his second straight game and Roenicke is hoping to have him back Thursday.
Braun is batting .291 with 11 homers and 49 RBI this season.
Milwaukee has never been swept by the Phillies in four games at home and hopes Matt Garza can salvage this series when he takes the ball Thursday. Garza threw a two-hit shutout in Saturday's 1-0 win at Cincinnati, as he struck out nine and walked two, improving to 6-5 with a 3.78 earned run average.
Garza has won back-to-back starts and four of his past five decisions. His gem against the Reds marked the 10th complete game and fourth shutout of his career. Garza is 4-1 with a 2.36 ERA over his last seven starts and Milwaukee is 10-8 when he takes the mound this season.
Opponents are batting .240 against the right-hander, who is 2-1 with a 1.77 ERA in six career starts against Philadelphia.
The Phillies have won three in a row and are 4-5 on a 10-game road trip.
Rollins had the big homer in the sixth and Utley got the Phils on the board early, while Cameron Rupp ended with two hits, and RBI and a run scored.
Roberto Hernandez shook off a few disappointing starts to toss eight innings of one-run, three-hit ball. He struck out three and walked two. Hernandez had lost his three previous starts and was 1-7 in his last eight decisions.
"It was impressive," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said of Hernandez's outing. "It looked like the ball was darting both ways."
Closer Jonathan Papelbon came on to post his 22nd save in the ninth.
Philadelphia will host the Washington Nationals for three games this weekend and still sits 10 games off the lead in the NL East.
David Buchanan gets the start for the Phils Thursday and the rookie has a 4-5 record to go along with a 4.82 ERA. Buchanan has lost two straight starts after winning three in a row and was beaten by Pittsburgh on Saturday in a 3-2 defeat.
The Pirates reached Buchanan for all three runs in six innings. Buchanan has allowed eight runs over his last three appearances and the right-hander will face the Brewers for the first time. In four road starts, Buchanan is just 1-3 with a 5.26 ERA.
Milwaukee won three games in Philadelphia back in early April and went 5-2 against the Phillies last season. The Phils have won three in a row against the Brewers after losing the previous six meetings.
The Phillies swept the Brewers in four games at Citizens Bank Park from Sept. 11-14, 2008 and have won six of nine games at Miller Park. They won a four- game set last night for the fourth time in the last 20 attempts.
07/10 10:20:56 ET