PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Nola danced into and out of trouble for six of the busiest scoreless innings you'll see, and Jimmy Paredes and Cameron Rupp hit back-to-back home runs in the Phillies' biggest inning of the season. They thumped the Brewers on Sunday, 8-1, in the finale of a four-game
PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Nola danced into and out of trouble for six of the busiest scoreless innings you'll see, and Jimmy Paredes and Cameron Rupp hit back-to-back home runs in the Phillies' biggest inning of the season. They thumped the Brewers on Sunday, 8-1, in the finale of a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park.
The Brewers put a runner on base in each of Nola's six innings, including multiple runners with fewer than two outs in four of those frames. But Milwaukee went hitless with eight strikeouts in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position against Nola, who struck out nine overall to match his career high for the third time this season. He has nine straight quality starts, matching Madison Bumgarner for the longest such streak in the Majors this season.
• Nola evades trouble throughout win vs. Brewers
"I told the infielders I was gonna give them a 1-2-3 inning one time," Nola said. "It didn't happen. … I battled hard and kept the team in the game, which is the most important part."
Maikel Franco, Paredes and Rupp all homered for the Phillies, Franco off struggling Brewers starter Wily Peralta and Paredes and Rupp after Peralta was replaced by Neil Ramirez in a five-run fifth. It marked the first time all season that the Phillies scored more than three runs in a single frame.
"When a pitcher gets a ball up in the zone, we want to attack it," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "Up until today, we haven't seen enough of that. Hopefully this is the start of something big for us."
• From top to bottom, Phils bats ignite vs. Crew
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Goin' back-to-back: The Phillies broke the game wide open as Paredes and Rupp went yard back-to-back in the fifth. The five runs turned a 3-0 game into 8-0 and are the most the Phils have scored in an inning this season -- almost two full runs more than their nine-inning average. Odubel Herrera led off the inning by diving safely into first base for one of his four hits. He scored on a Tommy Joseph double, which almost gave Philadelphia three straight dingers but after review was ruled a double due to fan interference. It was the first time the Phillies have hit back-to-back home runs since Aug. 22, 2015 and comes just one game after Philadelphia homered twice in the same inning for the first time this season.
"We know we can do that, and we showed it," Rupp said. "Now we just have to be consistent with it. The bats are there. Hitting's contagious."
Empty feeling: The top of the first inning was a sign of things to come for the Brewers, who put their first two batters aboard against Nola before Jonathan Lucroy, Chris Carter and Domingo Santana all struck out swinging. Santana had a particularly painful afternoon, striking out with a runner in scoring position in each of his three at-bats against Nola.
"He has good stuff, and I told him that when he came up for his first at-bat," Lucroy said. "I said, 'Man, that's a good breaking ball you threw there to strike me out.' It's late. You see it up, and then it just drops down real hard. It's a good pitch."
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Brewers on the board -- barely: Santana's tough day nearly got worse in the eighth, when he scored the Brewers' first run on a Ramon Flores single. Santana slowed between third base and home and scored standing up, just as the baseball arrived from Phillies right fielder Peter Bourjos. Close was good enough for the Brewers, who avoided being shut out for the fifth time this season thanks to Flores' first RBI in 13 games.
"He just didn't run hard," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Santana. "It will be addressed, yeah."
Franco en fuego: Mackanin has said for weeks that he expects his young third baseman to heat up at the plate. After a day of rest Wednesday, it might be happening. Franco hit a solo shot to left in the third inning -- his second long ball since returning to the lineup. In the four games since he sat, Franco is 4-for-14 (.286), while scoring four runs and driving in three.
"He still doesn't look like the same guy we saw early in the season or last year," Mackanin said. "Little by little, he's starting to relax a little bit and not get too big. … What he needs to do is not get big and strong. He needs to sneak up on the ball and be short and quick."
• Brewers opting to stay course with Peralta
"I think we have to have alternatives [before making a change]. We have to look what's best for everybody involved. We're trying to get something out of Wily. It's getting frustrating, there's no question. It's not good enough. -- Counsell, explaining why the Brewers will proceed with Peralta in the starting rotation
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Nola is one of only five starters this season to surrender at least eight hits but no runs, and only the second to do so in six or fewer innings. Cubs lefty Jon Lester was the other, keeping the Pirates at bay on May 4. And Lester and Nola are among the four pitchers to allow 10 or more batters to reach safely, but allow no runs. Brewers pitcher Jimmy Nelson is on the latter list thanks to a five-hit, four-walk outing against the Cubs that included a hit batter.
Franco has hit five of his 10 home runs this season against the Brewers. That's the highest total for a Brewers opponent in 2016; the Reds' Adam Duvall and Brandon Phillips have four home runs apiece at Milwaukee's expense.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
For a few minutes, it appeared Joseph was the Phillie who broke the game open with a three-run home run during the big fifth, but his big fly was overturned after a review by the umpiring crew, who determined that a fan had reached over the fence in right field and interfered with the path of the baseball. Joseph settled for an RBI double, and Parades followed with a big blast that couldn't be overturned.
Brewers: Old friends John Axford and Khris Davis will be back in town beginning Tuesday, when the Brewers host the A's for the first of two Interleague games at Miller Park. Zach Davies starts the 7:10 p.m. CT series opener, as he looks to build on his eight shutout innings against the Cardinals in his last outing.
Phillies: Philadelphia hosts the Cubs for three games at Citizens Bank Park, beginning Monday at 7:05 ET. The first game of the series will feature a pair of southpaws, with Adam Morgan (1-4, 7.07) starting for the Phils, opposing the Cubs' Jon Lester (6-3, 2.29).
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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.
Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.