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Phillies’ bullpen spoils seven-run comeback effort

It was ugly early, as Jeremy Hellickson was hoping to boost his trade value just nine days before the deadline. Ryan Braun was Milwaukee’s offensive star, who fueled a four-run third inning with a two-run double to right field. He then delivered with a two-run shot to left center in the fifth inning. The outfielder was 3-for-3 with four RBI on the night and raised his career average against the Phillies to .379, not to mention 61 RBI in 65 games. The Brewers were up 6-0 after five, effectively ending Hellickson’s night. He allowed seven hits and all six runs were earned. His ERA is up to 4.73, and certainly didn’t do the Phillies any favors with a poor outing this close to the deadline.

On most occasions this year, the Phils would’ve packed it in. Brewers’ starter Brent Suter kept the Phils at bay, tossing six innings of one-run ball. But it was the Brew Crew bullpen the Phillies got after. Odubel Herrera, who was 4-for-4 with three runs scored, homered to right to put the Phils on the board. The Brewers scored two more in the seventh to go up 8-1, but the Phils would answer with seven unanswered runs of their own. Cesar Hernandez blasted a three-run home run to right to cut the lead to 8-5 in the seventh. After Nick Williams and Herrera led off the eighth with singles, Cameron Rupp would deliver the big blow with a clutch three-run homer that barely cleared the wall in right field. It was a new ballgame.

Still with none out, next batter Cameron Perkins singled to left. Hernandez failed to sacrifice Perkins over to second after popping up a bunt. To make matters worse, Perkins was running on the pitch and was easily doubled off.

Hector Neris entered the ninth in a tie game. He wouldn’t leave the game tied, as he allowed three hits, including the go-ahead single from Domingo Santana. The Phils went down quietly in the ninth.

It was refreshing to see the Phillies scratch and claw their way back in this one. It was obvious they had confidence from their mini hot streak that started in Milwaukee last weekend. Jerad Eickhoff is on the hill for tomorrow afternoon’s rubber match.

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