MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Philadelphia Phillies were rolling through three innings with Jerad Eickhoff on the mound before the game took a dismal turn.
The Milwaukee Brewers started teeing off on the young right-hander once they figured out how to hit his curveball.
Scooter Gennett and Alex Presley homered in a six-run sixth inning, backing an encouraging outing by struggling starter Wily Peralta in Milwaukee’s 8-5 victory on Sunday that deprived Philadelphia of a three-game road sweep.
“I don’t know what happened to Eickhoff. They just kind of all together seemed to know what was coming,” manager Pete Mackanin said. “And they hit him pretty hard. It’s just hard to figure.”
The game started well enough for the Phillies after taking a 2-0 lead into the fourth. Eickhoff chipped in at the plate with a two-out, RBI single in the second.
Eickhoff (1-3) retired 10 of the first 11 hitters he faced before Ryan Braun’s solo shot to right in the fourth, setting up a productive few innings for the Brewers.
The pitcher’s day ended after 5 1/3 innings, giving up a career-high seven runs. The outing snapped an impressive seven-start stretch dating back to last season, with a 1.34 ERA during that span.
“Pitch choice, I was OK with. I get beat on my curveball, I’ll live with that. The location,” Eickhoff said. “They’ve got to be a little lower, out of the zone.”
The Brewers liked the location well enough.
They hit four doubles in the sixth, including Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ hard smash that deflected off first baseman Ryan Howard’s glove for a double that drove in two runs.
“We did a nice job as the game went on, knowing what he was going to, and getting pitches to hit,” manager Craig Counsell said.
The six-run inning was a season high for Milwaukee.
Among the Brewers, only Nieuwenhuis had faced Eickhoff before. Braun said it helped the lineup to see Eickhoff’s stuff a time or two through the order.
“When you make mistakes, you’ve got to pay for it. Hadn’t really happened to him through the first three starts (this season) that he had,” catcher Cameron Rupp said. “And he’s pitched well for us and he’s going to come right back out and be right back after it.”
Braun finished 2 of 4 to raise his average to .364 and extend his hitting streak to seven games. The slugger, who had back surgery in the offseason, said his swing was “in a good place.
“But more than that, I’m healthy,” he added, “healthiest I’ve been in a while. I feel good.”
Peralta (1-3) allowed three earned runs and seven hits in six innings while not walking a batter for the first time in five appearances this season. The opening day starter entered the game with an 8.35 ERA.
Phillies: Starting pitcher Charlie Morton will be out at least two weeks with a strained left hamstring. The right-hander was placed on the 15-day disabled list before the game. Philadelphia called up right-hander Luis Garcia from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to replace Morton. … C Jorge Alfaro, a top prospect, is hitting .500 (18 for 36) with a .750 slugging percentage at Double-A Reading. He is due to return this week from a stint on the seven-day disabled list (oblique).
Brewers: C Jonathan Lucroy got a day off behind the plate, with Martin Maldonado getting the start.
Phillies: Following a day off on Monday, Philadelphia returns to NL East action with a trip to Washington. Vince Velasquez (2-1) is likely to get the start Tuesday against the Nationals.
Brewers: Milwaukee starts a three-game series Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs after a day off Monday. Jimmy Nelson (3-1) will start in the opener at Wrigley Field.
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