Zach Eflin, Phillies shut down Brewers
MILWAUKEE — Junior Guerra extended the Brewers’ string of solid starts, but the offense and bullpen couldn’t help out on Saturday afternoon.
Milwaukee’s on-again, off-again offense managed only one run — a Travis Shaw RBI single in the first inning — and reliever Boone Logan’s trouble with left-handed hitters continued in a 4-1 loss to the Phillies at Miller Park.
In five games against the Phillies this season, the Brewers have won three, putting up at least 12 runs each time. In the two losses, both starts by Philadelphia right-hander Zach Eflin, Milwaukee has four total runs.
Eflin gave up three hits, struck out six and walked one. He helped his cause by picking off Lorenzo Cain at first base with one out in the fourth.
“Very efficient, very poised,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said of his starter.
Shaw said Eflin really challenges hitters.
“He comes right after you. You have to be ready to go,” Shaw said. “If you miss a couple of pitches, you’re behind in the count, and that’s not a recipe for success. He pitched well and their bullpen pitched well.”
But while the offense has been hot and cold, the Brewers’ starting pitching has been sharp. After Brent Suter allowed one run over seven innings on Friday night, Guerra went 5⅓ innings with three earned runs Saturday, one of which scored after he’d left the game. Guerra has a 2.72 ERA over his past seven starts.
The Phillies managed only four hits against Guerra, including solo home runs by Rhys Hoskins and Andrew Knapp.
Rookie Scott Kingery came around to score in the sixth inning on Logan’s bases-loaded walk — among the season-high 10 walks issued by Brewers pitchers.
“Too many walks, period,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “The walks are going to bite you for sure.”
Logan continues to struggle to get lefties out in key situations. He has either been charged with a run or allowed an inherited runner to score in eight of his 16 outings.
“He’s got (10º) innings, so he doesn’t have a big sample, but these are the outs we need him to get, there’s no question,” Counsell said. “This is his job, and it has to be his role to get these outs. … I don’t think we can find less-tight spots, because if you’re functioning as a ‘member’ you have to be able to pitch in those spots.”
Hoskins’ towering home run was the first allowed by a Brewers starter since Hoskins hit one against Suter a week ago Saturday in Philadelphia.
“A couple of home runs got him,” Counsell said of Guerra. “He was cruising; I thought the last couple of innings, there was a tad bit of fatigue in him. But he gave us a chance.”
Said Guerra of the sixth-inning hook after 82 pitches: “I think I felt like I could stay in the game, but it is what it is. It was a little bit hot, but I felt good in the end.”
After Shaw’s run-scoring single in the first inning, the Brewers recorded just four other hits against the Phillies’ staff, which included Eflin and relievers Tommy Hunter, Edubray Ramos, Seranthony Dominguez and Hector Neris.
Two of the hits belonged to Ryan Braun, who singled twice and stole second for his 200th career stolen base in the fifth inning.
Braun became the 24th player in major league history with at least 200 stolen bases and 300 home runs, and is the only active player at those milestones.
Villar back in lineup
Brewers second baseman Jonathan Villar returned after missing two straight games with a calf injury.
The Phillies placed right-hander Luis Garcia on 10-day disabled list with a strained right wrist and optioned right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. to Class AAA Lehigh Valley. The team recalled right-handers Yacksel Rios and Jake Thompson from Lehigh Valley.
The Brewers sent 22-year-old infielder Wendell Rijo to the New York Yankees to complete the May 25 trade for catcher Erik Kratz.
Rijo had been playing with Class AA Biloxi.
Phillies ace right-hander Aaron Nola (8-2, 2.27 ERA) takes the mound in the three-game series finale on Sunday. Nola is 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA in four career starts against the Brewers.
Brewers right-hander Chase Anderson (5-5, 4.13) is 1-2 with a 5.85 ERA in four career starts against the Phillies.