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Brewers halt six-game skid; Hamels falls to 1-9

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- Yes, Jonathan Lucroy said, the five hits were nice. But the victory was nicer.

The fourth-year catcher went 5 for 5 with two homers and four RBIs on Friday night as the Milwaukee Brewers snapped a six-game losing streak with an 8-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

The five hits were a career high for Lucroy, who raised his average from .229 to .253. The multi-homer game was the third of his career and gave him five homers this season. Both were solo shots, off Cole Hamels (1-9) in the fifth and reliever Mike Adams in the ninth.

"It was nice to get some hits like that and score some runs for the team," Lucroy said. "But I'm happy that we won. That's the biggest thing for me right now."

Milwaukee had 14 hits, three by Yuniesky Betancourt and two each by Ryan Braun and Noirchika Aoki, as the Brewers finished May with a 6-22 record, matching the worst month, percentage-wise (.214), in team history.

The run total was the Brewers' highest in their last 28 games. They had last exceeded it in a 12-8 victory over Pittsburgh on April 30. They had not even led in a game since beating Pittsburgh on May 24.

The barrage enabled Yovani Gallardo (4-5) to end his four-game losing streak. Gallardo worked 5 2/3 innings and allowed five runs and six hits. He struck out six, walked three and gave up three home runs, two by Domonic Brown.

Four relievers combined for 3 1/3 perfect innings, with Francisco Rodriguez pitching the ninth for his second save.

Hamels' career-worst losing streak was extended to six games. Hamels, who went 17-6 last year, allowed 12 hits and seven runs (six earned) in five innings. He is the first Phillies pitcher to lose nine games before June since Kid Gleason in 1891.

Hamels, who struck out three and didn't walk a batter, last lost nine games in 2011. He has never lost more than 11 in any season.

The Phillies had scored only 29 runs in Hamels' first 11 starts, 20 in his losses, but offense was not the problem against the Brewers. Besides Brown's two homers -- he now has 15 this season -- Jimmy Rollins hit a solo shot for Philadelphia.

Brown has six homers in his last five games and finished May with 12, tying Detroit's Miguel Cabrera for most in the majors for the month. That was also the most in any month by a Phillie since Ryan Howard hit 14 in August 2006.

Brown's first-inning homer was a three-run shot on a 3-0 fastball from Gallardo, staking Hamels to his first lead since April 7, his second start of the season.

The Brewers cut it to 3-2 in the second when Lucroy drove in a run with a double off the right-field wall - on a misplayed ball by Phillies outfielder Delmon Young -- and an infield bouncer by Jeff Bianchi.

Milwaukee then took the lead by scoring four times in the third. After loading the bases on an infield hit, error and bloop single, Aramis Ramirez drove in a run with a broken-bat single. Carlos Gomez followed with a sacrifice fly, and Lucroy and Betancourt added RBI singles. Betancourt's hit was a liner off Hamels' glove that trickled to the right of the mound.

"We got some breaks, which was really nice to see," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.

Lucroy said, "It's about time we had some cheap hits go our way."

The Phillies held another view, especially given all the bad luck that has befallen Hamels this season.

"That's exactly how his season's going," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said of the third inning.

"Ultimately," Hamels said, "I'm not winning for the team. No matter what my stats look like, I want the team to come away with a win. That hasn't happened too much. That's the difficult part."

Rollins homered in the third, his fourth of the season. But Lucroy gave the Brewers a 7-4 lead when he led off the fifth with his fourth homer of the year. It came on an 0-2 pitch from Hamels, an 89 mph cut fastball.

NOTES: Before the game, the Phillies released RHP Chad Durbin and recalled LHP Joe Savery from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Savery, who pitched a scoreless inning in his lone appearance for the Phils earlier this season, was 3-1 with a 4.03 ERA in 18 games for the IronPigs. ... Milwaukee LHP Chris Narveson, on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left middle finger, began a rehab assignment on Thursday night by pitching two scoreless innings for Triple-A Nashville against Iowa. Narveson allowed one hit and struck out one. ... Andrew Bynum, the Sixers' would-be center, was in the crowd. Bynum, acquired in a four-team trade last August, missed the entire season with knee problems. He becomes a free agent on July 1.
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