Brewers look to regroup vs. Phils after 9th-inning stunner
The task of keeping Philadelphia perfect under interim manager Rob Thomson will fall on right-hander Aaron Nola when the Phillies face the Brewers in Milwaukee on Wednesday in the second game of a three-game set.
Nola (3-4, 3.92 ERA) will be opposed by right-hander Adrian Houser (3-5, 3.51 ERA) for Milwaukee, which has lost a season-high four straight.
The Phillies improved to 4-0 under Thomson with an improbable 3-2 victory in the series opener Tuesday night on a pair of ninth-inning solo homers off previously untouchable Brewers closer Josh Hader. Thomson took over when Joe Girardi was fired on Friday.
Hader entered the game tied for the major league record of 40 consecutive scoreless appearances, dating to July 28 of last season.
Alec Bohm opened the ninth against Hader with his fourth homer. After Bryson Stott flied out, pinch-hitter Matt Vierling — recalled earlier Tuesday from Triple-A Lehigh Valley — ripped a 1-2 pitch to left-center for his first homer.
It was the first blown save for Hader, who had converted his first 18 opportunities this season and 32 straight overall. Milwaukee had been 27-0 this season when leading after the eighth inning.
“We believe this is a good club and the pieces are here to win games,” said Thomson, the first Phillies manager to win his first four games since Dallas Green in 1979. “We just didn’t play consistent early, and maybe we’re getting on a roll here.”
Nola has won his past two starts. He gave up one run in 8 1/3 innings in a 4-1 victory at Atlanta on May 26, striking out 10, but allowed five runs on five hits in six innings his last time out, a 6-5 win over the Giants.
Nola is 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA in nine career starts against Milwaukee. On April 24, in his lone start against the Brewers this season, he allowed just one hit over seven scoreless innings but did not get a decision in Philadelphia’s 1-0 loss.
The Brewers’ inconsistent offense, which was shut out twice in losing the final three games of the series against San Diego over the weekend, provided no cushion for the first time Hader faltered.
“It’s going to happen, but unfortunately we could only give him a one-run lead kind of going into that one inning,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We paid a price for it.”
Houser did not get a decision his last time out, allowing one run in five innings when the Brewers rallied for a 5-4 win over San Diego with four runs in the ninth last Thursday.
Opponents are batting .244 against Houser, who is 0-3 with a 3.60 ERA over his past five starts.
Houser is 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in five career games against the Phillies, including two starts. Houser won at Philadelphia on April 23, giving up three runs in six innings in a 5-3 Brewers victory.
Milwaukee got outfielder Hunter Renfroe back off the injured list and infielder Luis Urias returned after missing three games with a sore right thumb, but shortstop Willy Adames was given at least another day before coming off the IL.
Second baseman Kolten Wong left after three innings Tuesday with right calf discomfort and is day-to-day, Counsell said after the game.
–Field Level Media