Philadelphia Phillies lefty Cliff Lee was cruising along. Hot-hitting outfielder Domonic Brown nearly hit for the cycle. It appeared to be an uncommonly easy day for a struggling team.
And suddenly it wasn't.
The Phillies did not secure Sunday afternoon's 7-5 victory over Milwaukee until reliever Antonio Bastardo, pressed into service as the closer because regular closer Jonathan Papelbon was ill, recorded the final two outs with the tying runs in scoring position.
"I'll tell you what -- you never know in baseball," said Brown, who went 3-for-3 with a homer, triple, single, and four RBIs. "I wouldn't say I was relieved, but I was definitely happy the game was over."
The Phillies, who led 7-0 after two innings, saw the Brewers score four times in the eighth and once in the ninth before putting runners at second and third with one out in the final inning. Bastardo retired Norichika Aoki on a fly ball to Brown in short left, and after an intentional walk to Carlos Gomez, set down pinch hitter Martin Maldonado on fly to center.
Bastardo recorded his first save and helped the Phillies end a three-game losing streak. Phils' manager Charlie Manuel said Papelbon, who is 11-for-11 in save opportunities this season, was "very sick." Manuel also said he preferred not to use Mike Adams, his primary set-up man, because he had worked in three of the previous four games.
"It's tough to dig a big hole with that guy (Lee) on the mound," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "We had two shots. Other than that, we didn't touch him very much."
Lee (7-2) allowed seven hits and three runs over 7 2/3 innings to run his personal winning streak to five games. Lee, who struck out a season-high 11 and didn't walk a batter, improved to 6-1 this season when pitching after a Phillies defeat.
It was Lee's first double-digit strikeout game of the season, his 16th as a Phillie and the 24th of his career.
He lost his shutout when Aoki singled home a run with two outs in the eighth. When Gomez followed with a single, Lee was removed in favor of Justin DeFratus. Lee later said he experienced cramping in his arms, hips and hamstrings, likely because of dehydration.
"Me cramping affected my command a little bit," he said. "I still tried to throw strikes."
DeFratus walked pinch hitter Aramis Ramirez and then saw Jonathan Lucroy hit a ball off the top of the left-field fence.
First ruled a grand slam, it was changed after video review to a three-run triple.
"Right call," Roenicke said. "They said it's got to clear the little fence (atop the wall)."
Manuel said umpiring crew chief Tom Hallion, working at third base, first said it appeared that the ball had cleared the fence. Manuel conferred with Hallion and said in his view it hit the top of the railing and caromed onto the field. Hallion then reviewed the play with the rest of the crew.
"It hit the top of that wire fence and kicked hard to the right back into play," Hallion said through a pool reporter. "I had thought it hit the back (wall), but it hit the top of that fence and kicked right. So once we realized it was not a home run, I had the crew and we each put together where the ball went to, who picked the ball up and then we just put the runners where (best judgment said they should be)."
DeFratus retired Yuniesky Betancourt to end the inning, but Bastardo allowed an RBI single to Jeff Bianchi in the ninth.
Pinch hitter Jean Segura grounded out to first with Bianchi and lead runner Rickie Weeks moving to second and third. But Bastardo managed to escape further trouble.
Brown, the National League leader in homers entering the game, blasted his 16th in the first inning, a three-run shot off Brewers starter Mike Fiers (1-4) in a five-run first inning. It was the eighth homer in the last nine games for Brown, who added an RBI triple in a two-run second, giving the Phils that 7-0 lead.
Brown, who added a leadoff single in the fifth, now has 40 RBIs this season. He was eighth in the league in that department entering Sunday's game.
"I'm just trying to keep going and continue to improve," he said. "I talk about trying to keep my stroke small. I'm not trying to do too much."
Needing a double in his last at-bat for the cycle, Brown drew a walk from Milwaukee reliever Tom Gorzellany in the seventh inning. Brown said that while the fans were "chirping" about him hitting for the cycle, he wasn't thinking in those terms.
"I was just thinking about getting a hit," he said. "I was thinking about getting that fourth hit."
Fiers, winless in three starts this season, lasted 1 2/3 innings and allowed seven hits and seven runs, five of them earned. He struck out one and walked one.
Fiers allowed five runs after retiring the first two hitters he faced in the bottom of the first. Jimmy Rollins, back in the starting lineup after missing Saturday's game with a sore right foot, doubled and Ryan Howard walked before Brown blasted his homer deep into the right-field seats.