Wolf settles in, but Brewers' bats come up empty

Wolf settles in, but Brewers' bats come up empty

Wolf settles in, but Brewers' bats come up empty
MILWAUKEE -- Randy Wolf's Sunday afternoon at Miller Park felt all too familiar for the Brewers' 35-year-old left-hander.

Wolf tossed seven innings against the Phillies, with five of those innings producing no runs. However, Philadelphia got to Wolf for a two-run homer in the second and a bases-clearing double in the third on the way to beating Milwaukee, 8-0, for a series split.

The loss dropped Wolf to 3-10 and marked the ninth time he surrendered five or more runs. But like many of those losses, Wolf's struggles did not last the entire game as the Phillies collected six of their 14 hits in two innings.

"Those innings count," Wolf said. "There's nothing I can really say other than, [Michael Martinez], I leave a fastball over the plate, he hits it out. And then I get myself into trouble [in the third] and usually I've been pretty successful at getting lefties out, and I don't get lefties out today and it cost three runs in that inning."

Wolf went on to throw a perfect fourth. He gave up two straight hits to start the fifth before a double play ended that inning, and it took him just seven pitches to work through the sixth. Kevin Frandsen notched his third single of the game in the seventh, but Wolf had no trouble retiring the next two batters before giving way to Mike McClendon to start the eighth.

But after Wolf spotted Philadelphia five runs, Milwaukee -- which was playing without two of its top hitters in Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez -- couldn't muster the offense needed to come back. Manager Ron Roenicke gave both players, who have combined for 134 RBIs, the day off after playing nearly every game since the All-Star break.

"I know it's hard with a lineup when you have two of our big guys out of there, but I still think we should score some runs," Roenicke said. "We started off with a leadoff triple to start the game, and we don't get him in, and that kind of set the tone for things."

That leadoff triple by Nyjer Morgan in the first was about the only mistake by Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick. It also came during a downpour while the roof at Miller Park was still open. The game was delayed for seven minutes as the grounds crew attempted to dry off what had become a wet field. Wolf and catcher Jonathan Lucroy both said conditions were tough for a couple innings, but that the rain did not play a factor in the outcome.

After Morgan was caught between third and home on a Rickie Weeks fielder's choice, Kendrick cruised the rest of the way, throwing eight shutout innings while allowing just three hits.

"He was pretty nasty," said Lucroy, who walked but did not record a hit against Kendrick. "He was executing all his pitches and mixing in a pretty good changeup. When a righty throws a changeup like that, that looks like a fastball, that's tough. You really got to battle and hope he makes a mistake."

With Hart and Ramirez out, Kendrick successfully contained the Brewers' biggest weapon, Ryan Braun. In the three previous games against the Phillies, Braun was 6-for-11 with four homers and six RBIs. On Sunday, he struck out once and didn't notch a hit until the ninth, a double against Michael Schwimer.

"We just went with my strengths," Kendrick said. "We got him out on a sinker away [in the first]. Think the second time was a 1-2 cutter and then a first-pitch changeup. We just tried to keep him off balance. Mix it up a little bit. He ended up getting his hit."

By that time, the Phillies were holding an 8-0 lead.

Following an eight-game home winning streak, Milwaukee has now lost two straight at home for the first time since July 28-29 against the Nationals. The lack of offense on Sunday bothered Roenicke, but it was Wolf's struggles that left him the most disappointed.

"It's frustrating," Roenicke said. "I know it's in there, he knows it's in there. And to see him work the way he does and to go about this every day and he comes out and can't throw the ball the way he wants to. It is frustrating."

Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.