Philadelphia looks to send the Brewers to their worst home start in franchise history, and sweep its first series in Miller Park in almost six years in Sunday night’s finale.
After a 9-5 victory Friday, the Phillies (22-13) pounded out a season-best 17 hits in Saturday’s 10-6 win. Shane Victorino(notes), who knocked in three in the opener, homered and drove in four while Chase Utley(notes) had two doubles and two RBIs.
Philadelphia improved to an NL-best 12-7 on the road, and is seeking its first three-game sweep in Milwaukee since Aug. 20-22, 2004.
The Phillies, who have plated at least nine runs in three of their last four games, appear to have a good chance of achieving this considering how poorly the Brewers (15-21) are playing at home.
With a 4-13 record, Milwaukee has matched the worst home start in franchise history set by the 1985 team, which played at County Stadium. Losers of five in a row overall, the Brewers have dropped seven straight at home for the first time since 2002 - they haven’t lost eight consecutive home games since a nine-game skid from July 31-Aug. 11, 1996.
“I don’t want them to get discouraged,” manager Ken Macha said. “The guys are battling and giving it all they got. We’re going to work our way out of this. … We’re going through a rough patch here. The only thing to do is fight our way out of it.”
Inferior pitching has been the biggest reason for Milwaukee’s home woes with the team allowing an average of 8.6 runs during the slide. Bush (1-3, 4.24 ERA) will try to turn that around as he takes the mound in place of Davis, who was scratched Sunday afternoon due to an unspecified medical condition.
Bush has lost three straight decisions, but he’s been solid over his last three starts, going 0-2 despite a 3.50 ERA. The right-hander, who has a 7.63 ERA at Miller Park in large part because of one dreadful outing against the Cubs, is 1-1 with a 5.52 ERA in eight career games against the Phillies.
Ryan Howard(notes) is 7 for 20 with two home runs against Bush, and Utley is 5 for 15 with a homer, a triple and a double. Utility man Greg Dobbs(notes) could get a start Sunday, considering he’s 6 for 14 with two homers and a double lifetime against Bush.
Hamels earned his first win since April 12 last Sunday, but wasn’t particularly sharp, yielding three runs, eight hits and four walks in five innings to beat Atlanta 5-3. It was the left-hander’s shortest outing since tossing five innings in a win over Washington in his season debut.