Hector Neris induces a popup off the bat of Eric Thames with runners on to lock down the save, sealing a 5-2 win for the Phillies
"Every win for us is a good win to get," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said, referring to the Phillies' 30-60 record.
On the board: Brewers starter Matt Garza allowed only one run and three hits on 71 pitches through five innings, but Counsell was looking for offense in the bottom of the fifth when he sent Phillips to the plate as a pinch-hitter for the right-hander. Phillips delivered his first career extra-base hit, a towering two-run homer off Hellickson that gave the Brewers a 2-1 advantage and brought Miller Park to its feet. The fans demanded a curtain call and Phillips, Milwaukee's 10th-ranked prospect, obliged, holding his helmet in the air with his right arm while pumping his left fist.
"You go into that game and Corey [Knebel] and Jacob [Barnes] are down," Counsell said, referring to his closer and setup man who had pitched the previous two days, "so it's an aggressive move for me to pinch-hit for Matt there. You take a chance there, knowing you're going to have to use some different relievers to cover 12 outs. But I'd do it again. You'll take the 2-1 lead. It just didn't work out in [the sixth]."
Garcia stretches streak: Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw, coming off a game-winning home run on Saturday, had a chance to be a hero again Sunday when he stepped to the plate as the tying run with two outs. Phillies right-hander Luis Garcia fell behind, 3-0, throwing a wild pitch that pushed a second runner into scoring position. Shaw swung away at the next offering and lifted a routine fly ball to left field, ending the threat and extending Garcia's scoreless streak to 14 2/3 innings.
"He looked at me and I said yeah, so I definitely liked that," Counsell said of Shaw's aggressive approach. "It's a good spot. It was a strike, it was just a little down. 8230; The way Travis is swinging the bat, I think that's a place you take a little risk."
Brewers threaten again: In the ninth against Phillies closer Hector Neris, the Brewers again brought the tying run to the plate after Hernan Perez and Manny Pina started the inning with well-placed bloop hits. Neris regained command with a strikeout of pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt, before Orlando Arcia and pinch-hitter Eric Thames popped out to end the game.
"The fans of Milwaukee made it extra special with the curtain call, calling me out there, celebrating with the team for that short period of time. It was just an incredible feeling. I'm looking forward to doing it more. A win would've been a lot cooler to go along with it." -- Phillps, on his homer
"He jumped all over it. First pitch, instead of taking it. That's the kind of thing, you want to be aggressive. You want to see pitches, but with bases loaded, you have to be ready for a mistake first pitch. And he was." -- Mackanin, on Williams hitting a first-pitch breaking ball for a grand slam
Phillies: Philadelphia will continue its six-game road trip with a three-game series in Miami, beginning at 7:10 p.m. ET on Monday at Marlins Park. Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (1-7, 4.63 ERA) will make his second start since returning from the disabled list with a strained upper back. He is 2-3 with a 3.30 ERA in five career starts against the Marlins.
Brewers: The Brewers will pack their bags for a 10-game road trip, their first and longest of the second half of the season. The series kicks off with a four-game set in Pittsburgh, beginning at 6:05 p.m. CT on Monday. Left-hander Brent Suter will take the mound for the third time in place of the injured Chase Anderson. He didn't give up a run to the Pirates over four relief appearances in 2016.
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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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