PHILADELPHIA (AP)—The Philadelphia Phillies almost hate to pack their bags.
The Phillies have won six straight and 15 of 17 to improve to a season-best eight games over .500 (36-28). The 12 wins were the second-highest total in team history, two shy of a 14-2 homestand in July 1955.
“It’s been awesome. We just have to stick to our approach when we hit the road,” said Burrell as the Phillies embark on a six-game road trip to Seattle and Oakland. “It starts with the pitching. We got great pitching the entire homestand and we put some runs up.”
Jim Thome added, “This homestand is something you strive to do. It’s as good as you can get.
“It sure has been fun. As a club, we’ve turned the corner.”
Lidle (6-4) gave up one run on four hits to earn his first win in his last three starts. He struck out three and walked one.
“I got ahead for the most part,” Lidle said. “I had good movement on my fastball and kept them a little off balance. I only made a couple of mistakes.”
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who was taking the heat from the Philadelphia fans in early May, was beaming after the performance at home. Since May 15, the Phillies are 20-6—the best record in the majors.
“This was exactly what we needed,” Manuel said. “I can’t explain it other than our players are doing a good job.
Carlos Lee accounted for Milwaukee’s first run with his 16th homer. The Brewers have lost four straight.
Burrell broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth with a long homer to left-center field off Ben Sheets (2-6). Burrell, who won Saturday’s game with a three-run home run, has 14 on the season—including five on the homestand.
The Phillies added four runs in the eighth on Jim Thome’s RBI single and Utley’s 10th homer—a three-run shot.
“They’re hot right now,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “They’re swinging the bats well. The whole lineup is hot.”
Bill Hall hit a solo homer in the ninth off Wagner to close the scoring.
Lidle’s toughest jam came in the seventh which opened with a leadoff walk to Hall. After a ground out and a wild pitch moved the potential tying run to third with one out, Lidle struck out J.J. Hardy.
“That as a key strikeout,” Lidle said. “I didn’t want to give him anything really fat to hit because (Chad) Moeller was on deck and he’s a pretty good double play possibility.
Lidle got Moeller to ground out to end the inning.
Sheets pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He struck out four and had one intentional walk.
“Sheets pitched great,” Yost said. “It’s frustrating but we’re facing guys who are throwing he ball well. We can’t find ways to get over the hump on the road.”
The Phillies have won 10 of their last 12 games against the Brewers, including a 6-0 mark at Citizens Bank Park. … Lee got into a shouting match with Lidle the entire way around the bases after his homer. The incident didn’t go any further. … Burrell had two hits and extended his hitting streak to 11 games—the longest current streak in the NL.