PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies, next to last in the National League in home runs, used blasts from catcher Cameron Rupp and infielder Andres Blanco to break a seven-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the Brewers on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Milwaukee starter Jimmy Nelson, who came into the game leading the team with eight quality starts, gave up both homers while allowing six earned runs in four innings. That also ended a string of seven games in which the Phillies scored three or fewer runs.
"Any time we score six runs, it's a big deal around here," said Phillies manager Pete Mackanin.
The Brew Crew had previously won eight straight in Philadelphia but fell Friday despite a two-RBI performance from shortstop Jonathan Villar that included his second home run in as many nights.
Phillies starter Vince Velasquez, who had a 10.38 ERA in his previous two starts, overpowered the Brewers for four shutout innings, striking out six. But he loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth, allowed a run on a sacrifice fly, then walked the bases full again before coming out of the game without qualifying for the win.
That went to reliever Andrew Bailey, who pitched out of trouble in the fifth and then had a 1-2-3 sixth. He's now 3-0. Jeanmar Gomez got his Major League-leading 18th save.
"We got the tying run up to the plate [in the eighth after] we were down 6-0, which you like to see," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said, "but we just couldn't get that next hit."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Man in motion: Trying to jump-start the Phillies' offense, Mackanin played small ball in the third, and it resulted in two extra runs. With one out and Odubel Herrera on first, Herrera broke for second on a 1-1 pitch to Blanco. Second baseman Scooter Gennett broke to cover the base and was barely able to recover to throw Blanco out when he slapped a grounder behind him. But that prevented an inning-ending double play, and consecutive singles by Maikel Franco, Tommy Joseph and Jimmy Paredes resulted in two additional runs.
Passing the test: In his first inning off a stint on the disabled list for a sore throwing shoulder, Brewers right fielder Domingo Santana left no doubt about his health. Herrera tested Santana by trying to score on Joseph's two-out single in the first, and Santana fired a perfect one-hopper home to retire the runner easily. More >
Bailey takes the fifth: After Velasquez pitched four dominant innings, he ran into trouble in the fifth. With one run in, one out and the bases loaded, Bailey came out of the bullpen to limit the damage, allowing just one more run to score and preserving a 6-2 lead.
Nelson knocked around: There were moments of bad luck -- Franco's two-out single in the three-run third inning dropped mere feet in front of left fielder Ryan Braun, and Paredes' RBI single two batters later was inches from Nelson's glove -- but this was nevertheless Nelson's shortest and poorest start of the season. His six earned runs were a season high.
"The bullpen did a great job tonight of giving us a chance to come back," Nelson said, a nod to the four hitless innings from Neil Ramirez (in his Brewers debut), Blaine Boyer, Carlos Torres and Jacob Barnes (in his Major League debut). "And we did a really good job [hitting] against their starter and got him out of there really early. So pretty much it was just me that didn't hold up my part of the job today." More >
"It's nice to come in here smiling for a change." -- Mackanin, after his team ended its seven-game losing streak
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
It had been a good, long while since the Brewers lost a game at Citizens Bank Park -- June 2, 2013, to be precise, when manager Ron Roenicke employed 16 players in a 7-5 loss. Only three are still with the team: Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado.
All the Phillies' scoring came on three runs in the third and three more in the fourth, matching their single-inning high for the season. That's right. They haven't scored four or more runs in an inning yet this year.
Velasquez allowed two earned runs. That matched the number of runs he had allowed all season at Citizens Bank Park in 24 1/3 innings over four starts.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Phillies challenged the ruling on the field that Rupp was out stretching a single into a double in the bottom of the fourth inning. The call was overturned after a one minute, 57 second review. Braun made a strong throw to Gennett. Rupp made an awkward slide, but he was able to get his hand back on the base after he briefly lost contact. That turned out to be a big play because, with two outs, Herrera walked and Blanco followed with a three-run homer.
Phillies right-hander Jerad Eickhoff, who left Thursday night's game when a hard comebacker hit by Keon Broxton struck his left ankle, said Friday he expects to make his next scheduled start on Tuesday against the Cubs at Citizens Bank Park.
"I did all my running and everything I was supposed to do," he said. "It feels pretty good."
WHAT'S NEXT Brewers: The Brewers won Junior Guerra's first five Major League starts before losing to the Cardinals earlier this week. They'll look to start a new streak with Guerra on the mound against the Phillies on Saturday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. CT at Citizens Bank Park.
Phillies: Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, who has allowed three or fewer runs in each of his last five starts, takes the mound as the Phillies continue their series against the Brewers. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. ET.