A road trip that started off high with three wins in D.C. ended the complete opposite way for the Phillies Wednesday in Milwaukee.
The Phils suffered a 4-3 loss to the Brewers. It was their second straight loss to Milwaukee and it left them with two straight series defeats.
After sweeping the Nationals in Washington last week, the Phils went to Miami and Milwaukee and lost two of three in each town.
Despite losing two series during the nine-game trip, the Phils picked up two games in the standings and trail the first-place Atlanta Braves by just 2.5 games in the NL East.
The Braves lost for the ninth time in 14 games Wednesday night.
The Phils have 23 games left this season. They will play 14 of their next 17 at home before hitting the road for the final six games of the season.
Both starting pitchers struggled with command and high pitch counts. Milwaukee’s Freddy Peralta did not make it through the fourth inning.
Phillies starter Kyle Gibson needed 56 pitches to get through the first two innings but managed to work into the fifth and hold the Brewers to three runs despite allowing 11 base runners.
The Phils got a solo homer from Bryce Harper in the first inning — it was his 29th homer of the season and fourth on the road trip — and tied the game at 3-3 on a bases-loaded walk by Harper and a ground out by J.T. Realmuto in the third.
Harper walked three times, including with two outs in the eighth inning to put two men on base for Realmuto in a one-run game. Devin Williams struck out Realmuto on a changeup off the plate to end the threat and protect the Brewers’ one-run lead.
Josh Hader closed it out in the ninth.
The Phils had just five hits and only one after the third inning.
The Phillies now embark on a crucial stretch that includes playing 14 of their next 17 at home, where they are 11 games over .500. The Phils need to do more than keep their head above water during this stretch, they need to dominate.
The Phils open a four-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday night. Lefty Ranger Suarez will face right-hander Anthony Senzatela in the opener. The Phillies need at least a series win against the Rockies, who are 18-50 on the road.
After hosting the Chicago Cubs for three next week, the Phillies play a three-game series in New York against the Mets, then return home for three against the Baltimore Orioles and four against the Pittsburgh Pirates, two teams that are a combined 89 games under .500.