Phillies defense falters against Brewers, Braun again

The Phillies and their lackluster defense cost them in their second straight loss to the Brewers Wednesday. Credit: Getty Images
The Phillies and their lackluster defense cost them in their second straight loss to the Brewers Wednesday. Credit: Getty Images

Citizen’s Bank Park is the Phillies’ home ballpark only technically. In reality, it’s Ryan Braun’s house.

Something about the boos has set the 2011 NL MVP on fire, as the slugger had a key two-RBI triple to help his Brewers defeat the Phillies again, 9-4.

After the eighth inning blast over Ben Revere’s head, Braun appeared to gesture to the booing fans, egging them on.

And why shouldn’t he? Coming into this series he had no RBI. After two games in the City of Brotherly Love he has nine.

The Phillies defense looked exactly the same as it did the night before as well. Possibly worse. A Jimmy Rollins error and wild pitch from Roberto Hernandez didn’t help as the Brewers struck for two runs in the top of the first.

A second error by Ryan Howard in the fateful eighth inning led to Milwaukee’s go-ahead run. Small ball, a stolen base bunt and the Howard error allowed Mark Reynolds to score in the top of the eighth to give the Brewers a 5-4 advantage.

After the Braun hit put the Brewers up 7-4, the Phillies, who still were able to pound out nine hits in the game, seemed lifeless and fell to 3-5.

“They’re a fastball hitting team,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. “They’re very aggressive, they are first pitch fastball swinging.”

The Phillies got a run back on a Balk by Matt Garza in their half of the first following a Carlos Ruiz double and then two more on a Milwaukee error and a Domonic Brown ground out to take the lead, 3-2 in a first inning that lasted more than a half hour.

Jean Segura evened things at 3-apiece with an RBI double in the top of the second.

The Brewers jumped back on top with a Carlos Gomez line-drive homer to left in the fourth.

“I tried to keep the ball down,” Phillies starter Roberto Hernandez said of the home run he surrendered. “But the ball found the middle of the plate.”

An inning later, the Phillies once again had a response, this one an RBI single off the bat of Marlon Byrd.

After upping their lead to 7-4, the Brewers added two more runs with a Mark Reynolds two-run shot in the ninth

Roberto Hernandez started the game for the Phillies and went five frames, allowing four runs and earning a no decision.

“I threw a lot of change ups,” Hernandez said, who settled down after throwing 50 pitches in the first two frames. “It felt good, I tried to keep the ball down and get ground balls.”

Cliff Lee will look to salvage the series Thursday night.


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