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Brewers bust Phils with 17 hits, take series

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies and Brewers entered this week's four-game series at Citizens Bank Park with the two worst records in baseball.

But the Brewers are looking like world beaters following Wednesday night's 9-5 victory, giving them a four-game winning streak for the first time since last August, and in position to sweep the four-game series with a victory Thursday. They pounded out a season-high 17 hits, including multi-hit games from Gerardo Parra, Scooter Gennett, Adam Lind, Aramis Ramirez, Martin Maldonado and starting pitcher Kyle Lohse, who had three hits. Lohse allowed four hits in 6 1/3 innings to pick up the win, his second in a row.

Video: MIL@PHI: Gennett's triple increases Brewers' lead

"I scored twice, and it's always fun to help out and feel like a ballplayer," Lohse said. "I felt like I threw well. I feel pretty positive about what we were able to go out there and do."

Phillies right-hander Aaron Harang became the first Phillies pitcher to lose eight consecutive starts since Jim Nash, who lost eight straight from June 14 to Sept. 30, 1972.

"It seems like they swung at everything I threw up there," Harang said. "Even if it wasn't a strike they were swinging at it. It was one of those baffling games where you don't really know what's going on. You're just trying to get through it."

Make it a double: The Brewers scored most of their runs in pairs, with two-run hits in four different innings. The first belonged to first baseman Lind, who was named the team's player of the month for June earlier in the day and began July with a first-inning, two-run home run off Harang. It was Lind's 12th homer of the season, three shy of Ryan Braun's team-leading total.

"We've got some confident hitters right now," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.

Video: MIL@PHI: Ramirez drives in Lind and Gomez with double

Harang hit hard again: Harang's performance this month is important for the Phillies, who would love to trade him to a contender for a prospect or two. But Harang is not helping the cause. He had the eighth-best ERA (2.02) in baseball in 11 starts through May 30, but has struggled since. He allowed a career-high 14 hits and eight runs in five-plus innings against the Brewers and has posted an 8.31 ERA in his last six starts.

"It's hard to figure," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said about Harang's struggles. "It looks to me like he's throwing the ball the same way he did early in the season. Normally, it all boils down to command of your stuff. When you don't hit your spots you can get burned, especially against an aggressive-hitting club."

Video: MIL@PHI: Mackanin speaks about Harang's struggles

Lohse's four-hit game: Lohse doubled his total for the season with three hits against the Phillies -- four, if you count his clean tackle of first baseman Ryan Howard in the sixth inning. Howard was pulled over the bag by a throw from second baseman Cesar Hernandez, leaving Lohse no choice but to wrap up Howard and take him to the ground. Lohse became the fifth pitcher in Brewers history with three base hits in a game (Skip Lockwood, Jim Lonborg, Brad Woodall and Braden Looper were the others) and most importantly, two of Lohse's hits contributed to run-scoring rallies. More >

Video: MIL@PHI: Lohse tallies three hits vs. Phillies

Diekman delivers: It is a small step forward, but struggling Phillies left-hander Jake Diekman allowed one hit and struck out three in two scoreless innings. He has a 1.13 ERA (one earned run in eight innings) in six appearances since being recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on June 18.

"He pitched very well," Mackanin said. "He pitched like he was out there to prove something. I loved it."

"I can't say. It was X-rated." -- Lohse, when asked what he said in Howard's ear after the collision

Video: MIL@PHI: Lohse and Howard take a tumble

"It was encouraging to see [Maikel] Franco hit three doubles to right-center field. He was getting a little big [with his swing], but he kind of got back to where he's supposed to be. He stayed on the ball very well." -- Mackanin on Franco, who went 3-for-4 with three doubles, two RBIs and one walk

Video: MIL@PHI: Franco plates Hernandez with double

The Phillies have not announced a roster move to accommodate right-hander Chad Billingsley, who will pitch the series finale Thursday night. Right-hander Sean O'Sullivan (1-6, 5.76 ERA), right-hander Kevin Correia (0-2, 3.60 ERA) and left-hander Adam Morgan are candidates. O'Sullivan has allowed 12 runs in 9 1/3 innings in his last two starts. Correia has pitched OK in his four starts and the Phillies might want to give Morgan (1-0, 1.59 ERA) a longer look.

Brewers: The Brewers will seek their first series sweep at 5:35 p.m. CT Thursday behind Matt Garza, who is 0-3 with an 8.50 ERA in his past three starts. He owns a 1.86 ERA in seven career starts against the Phillies, all quality starts.

Phillies: The Phillies look to right-hander Chad Billingsley, who takes the mound at 6:35 p.m. ET after being on the disabled list since May 17 with a shoulder injury. He went 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts this season before the injury.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
Read More: Freddy Galvis, Odubel Herrera, Aramis Ramirez, Kyle Lohse, Ryan Braun, Martin Maldonado