Phillies 4, Brewers 2

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MILWAUKEE (AP)—One win does not erase a seven-game losing streak. It’s a start, though.

“I think we have a run left in us,” Eric Milton said after Philadelphia ended a seven-game skid with a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.

“I think we can reel off seven, eight, 10 wins in a row,” Milton said. “We’ve got a lot of winners in this clubhouse.”

Milton (13-2), whose .867 winning percentage is the best in the majors, is the first Phillies’ pitcher to win 13 of his first 15 decisions since Hall of Famer Steve Carlton in 1980. Milton allowed two runs on five hits, walked three and struck out seven.

He was backed by homers from Jim Thome and Bobby Abreu.

Thome’s 37th home run came in the ninth inning off Dave Burba, and gave the Phillies an insurance run. Tim Worrell pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save.

Abreu’s 27th homer, a two-run shot off Doug Davis in the sixth, broke a 1-all tie.

It was the first game between the teams this season, and in the reeling Brewers, who have lost 12 of 16, the Phillies found just what they needed after a 1-9 homestand turned up the heat on manager Larry Bowa.

“Might have been good to just get away for awhile,” said Bowa, whose team has won six of its last seven away from home.

Davis (10-10) didn’t give up a hit until Mike Lieberthal led off the fifth with a triple over the head of center fielder Scott Podsednik, who was playing too shallow. Lou Collier followed with a hard hit off lunging third baseman Wes Helms’ glove that scooted past shortstop Craig Counsell for an RBI single.

Helms then charged in to grab Milton’s pop-up bunt and threw to first to double off Collier and end the inning.

Jimmy Rollins led off the sixth with a single and, one out later, Abreu hit a 415-foot homer to right field for a 3-1 lead. Davis said he left a 3-2 cut fastball over the middle of plate: “It wasn’t a mistake. I didn’t want to walk him. I already had too many walks.”

Davis allowed three earned runs on four hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in seven innings.

“It’s very mentally draining,” Davis said after failing for the fourth time to tie his career high with 11 wins. “Whenever I go home mentally drained, I can’t think of anything but going to sleep. Even sleeping’s hard to do. But that’s part of baseball. You try not to let it run your life outside of the stadium but sometimes you can’t get it out of your head until your next start.”

The Brewers took a 1-0 lead in the third when Podsednik tripled and scored on Brady Clark’s sacrifice fly to center. Chad Moeller’s fifth homer made it 3-2 in the seventh.

Todd Jones pitched the eighth for Philadelphia before Worrell closed out the Brewers in the ninth, both making quick work of the Brewers with a 1-2-3 inning.

“We need that for once,” Bowa said. “Lately, we’ve been struggling. But in all fairness to the (bullpen), they carried us the first half. A lot of it has to do with fatigue.”

Phillies center fielder Marlon Byrd made a full-sprint leaping catch to rob Lyle Overbay of extra bases in the eighth, and Rollins, the shortstop, robbed Counsell of a hit in the fourth when he made a spectacular grab with his back to the infield.

The Brewers put runners at the corners with one out in the first but failed to score. Their inability to hit in the clutch has been a sore spot all season and a killer for a team with the lowest payroll in baseball.

“We just have to play as fundamentally sound as we can and take advantage of every opportunity to be successful,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said.

Notes

The Brewers outrighted LHP Matt Ford from their 40-man roster. Ford has been pitching at Double A Huntsville, where he’s 1-6 with a 4.36 ERA, and will remain there. … With their eighth loss in their last 10 games at Miller Park, the Brewers are 30-32 at home. They won 31 games at Miller Park in 2002 and ’03. … The Phillies last lost eight straight games from Aug. 29-Sept. 6, 2000. … Burba hadn’t faced the Phillies since 1997 while pitching for Cincinnati.

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