Gomez, Lohse lead Brewers past Phillies 9-1
Gennett sparks Brewers early
For the first two months of the 2013 season, Kyle Lohse had the misfortune of being Milwaukee's hard-luck starter.
In 11 starts, Lohse had posted a 1-6 record while his offense put forth an average of 2.46 runs per game -- the second lowest run support in the National League.
All of that was forgotten Sunday, though, when Lohse (2-6) held Philadelphia to a run on four hits over eight innings and the Brewers' offense sprang to life in a 9-1 victory over the Phillies at Miller Park.
"Kyle's a pretty confident guy but it's still important to everybody," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, whose starting rotation came into the game with the second fewest innings of any National League team. "It was nice to give the bullpen a day and have everybody fresh for the Miami series. Anytime your starters throw well, guys feed off of that."
Lohse got off to a rocky start, giving up back-to-back singles to Michael Young and Ben Revere to open the game. Jimmy Rollins popped out to short for the first out and Ryan Howard singled into right, but Norichika Aoki made a perfect throw to catch Young trying to score and Lohse escaped further trouble on Dominic Brown's soft groundout to end the inning.
After that, Lohse settled in and commanded all of his pitches with ease, striking out six and retiring 17 of his last 18 batters faced.
"That kind of got me going," said Lohse of Aoki's throw. "I don't throw a lot of strikeouts so those guys have to be on their toes back there."
The only blemish on Lohse's line was a two-out, solo home run by Humberto Quintero in the eighth, which spoiled Lohse's shutout bid and effectively ended any chance of the first complete game by a Milwaukee starter since April 5, 2011 -- a span of 380 games.
"If I wouldn't have given up a run in the eighth, I might have lobbied pretty hard," Lohse said. "But it was good to get out of there at that time."
Milwaukee collected just four hits against Phillies starter Jonathan Pettibone (3-2) but made the most of the right-hander's two walks, two hit batsmen and a second-inning fielding error.
Pettibone's miscue allowed Carlos Gomez to reach base to open the inning. Gomez moved to second on Yuniesky Betancourt's base hit. Pettibone hit Martin Maldonado with a pitch to load the bases and Gomez scored the game's first run on Juan Francisco's bouncer to first.
Rookie Scooter Gennett cleared the bases and put the Brewers ahead 3-0 with his first career triple and Lohse drove in a run with a well-placed safety squeeze.
"It was a disaster waiting to happen," Pettibone said. "I dug a deep hole for my team and we weren't able to crawl back out of it."
The Brewers made it 6-0 in the sixth on Gomez's team-leading 11th home run of the season, a two-run shot to center. Milwaukee got two more in the seventh on Jean Segura's two-run single to center.
Quintero broke up the shutout in the eighth with a two-out, solo home run to right, his first homer of the season.
"We had three hits in the first inning but we couldn't do anything after that," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I've got to give Lohse some credit but at the same time, I thought we could have hit better."
The Brewers restored their eight-run lead in the bottom of the eighth on Maldonado's second home run of the year, a first-pitch solo shot.
Jim Henderson, reinstated from the 15-day disabled list earlier Sunday, worked around a leadoff base hit by Revere for a scoreless ninth.
Brewers left-fielder Ryan Braun left the game in the third inning due to a sore right thumb. The thumb had been bothering Braun for several weeks but his second-inning at-bat aggravated it further and Logan Schafer took over when Braun's next turn in the order came up.
"It's never really gotten better," Braun said. "There have been days where there was some progress but really, it's just the same thing. It's at the point that it doesn't feel very good."
Roenicke said that Braun could miss a couple of games during the Brewers' upcoming road trip to Miami, Cincinnati and Houston, which includes two off days.
NOTES: The Phillies placed C Erik Kratz on the 15-day disabled list with a left knee injury, sustained in the ninth inning of Philadelphia's 4-3 loss to Milwaukee on Saturday night. Kratz will undergo an MRI Monday in Philadelphia. Philadelphia selected the contract of C Steven Lerud from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to fill Kratz's place on the roster. ... Gennett's second-inning triple was the first of his career and the Brewers' eighth in their last nine games. Milwaukee leads the National League with 24 triples this season. ... Philadelphia has lost three straight after winning a season-high five in a row to move a game above .500 for the first time this season. ... Milwaukee has won three in a row for the first time since a nine-game winning streak in April.
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