MILWAUKEE -- Junior Guerra extended the Brewers' string of solid starts, but the offense and bullpen couldn't help out on Saturday afternoon.Milwaukee's on-again, off-again offense managed only one run -- a Travis Shaw RBI single in the first inning -- and reliever Boone Logan's trouble with left-handed hitters continued in
MILWAUKEE -- Junior Guerra extended the Brewers' string of solid starts, but the offense and bullpen couldn't help out on Saturday afternoon.
Milwaukee's on-again, off-again offense managed only one run -- a Travis Shaw RBI single in the first inning -- and reliever Boone Logan's trouble with left-handed hitters continued in a 4-1 loss to the Phillies at Miller Park.
In five games against the Phillies this season, the Brewers have won three, putting up at least 12 runs each time. In the two losses, both starts by Philadelphia right-hander Zach Eflin, Milwaukee has four total runs.
"He comes right after you. You have to be ready to go," said Shaw. "If you miss a couple of pitches, you're behind in the count, and that's not a recipe for success. He pitched well and their bullpen pitched well."
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But while the offense has been hot and cold, the Brewers' starting pitching has been sharp. After Brent Suter allowed one run over seven innings on Friday night, Guerra went 5 1/3 innings with three earned runs Saturday, one of which scored after he'd left the game. Guerra has a 2.72 ERA over his last seven starts.
The Phillies managed only four hits against Guerra, including solo home runs by Rhys Hoskins (a fourth-inning moonshot to left field) and Andrew Knapp (his first of 2018 in the fifth, a go-ahead shot). A sixth-inning walk to Scott Kingery came around to score on Logan's bases-loaded walk -- among the season-high 10 walks issued by Brewers pitchers.
Hoskins' home run was the first allowed by a Brewers starter since Hoskins hit one against Suter last Saturday in Philadelphia.
"A couple of home runs got him," Counsell said of Guerra. "He was cruising; I thought the last couple of innings, there was a tad bit of fatigue in him. But he gave us a chance."
Said Guerra of the sixth-inning hook after 82 pitches: "I think I felt like I could stay in the game, but it is what it is. It was a little bit hot, but I felt good in the end."
After Shaw's run-scoring single in the first inning, the Brewers recorded four other hits against the Phillies' staff, which included Eflin and relievers Tommy Hunter, Edubray Ramos, Seranthony Dominguez and Hector Neris. Two of them belonged to Ryan Braun, who singled twice and stole second for his 200th career stolen base in the fifth inning.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The Brewers signed Logan because of his history against left-handed hitters, but he has been ineffective against them so far. It led to trouble in a sixth inning that sealed the Phillies' win.
After Guerra issued a one-out walk in a 2-1 game, Counsell called for Logan, who surrendered a home run to lefty-hitting Odubel Herrera in the ninth inning of Friday's 13-2 Brewers rout, to face another lefty, Nick Williams. He doubled to put Phillies runners at second and third, lifting left-handers to 9-for-22 with five extra-base hits against Logan this season.
Logan struck out Knapp for the second out of the inning and intentionally walked pinch-hitter Maikel Franco to face light-hitting third baseman J.P. Crawford, who took a full-count slider for ball four and a 3-1 Phillies lead.
Philadelphia tacked on another insurance run against Logan with Cesar Hernandez's infield single. Logan has either been charged with a run or allowed an inherited runner to score in eight of his 16 outings.
Asked about the choice of Logan from among a relatively rested relief corps, Counsell said, "It's a left-hander [Williams], switch-hitter who you want hitting right-handed [Knapp], the pitcher's spot and left-hander [Crawford]. That's a spot where we are down one in the game, and that's a spot Boone has got to be able to get outs in."
How much longer will the Brewers give Logan a chance to show he get those outs?
"He's got [10 2/3] innings, so he doesn't have a big sample, but these are the outs we need him to get, there's no question," Counsell said. "This is his job, and it has to be his role to get these outs. … I don't think we can find less-tight spots, because if you're functioning as a 'member' you have to be able to pitch in those spots."
Braun became the 24th player in Major League history with at least 200 stolen bases and 300 home runs, and is the only active player at those milestones. Four active players have 200 steals and 200 home runs: Braun, Hanley Ramirez, Ian Kinsler and Brandon Phillips. More >
Chase Anderson (5-5, 4.13 ERA) gets the nod for the Brewers when they play their sixth game against the Phillies in 10 days at 1:10 p.m. CT on Sunday at Miller Park. Anderson had one his best outings of 2018 last Tuesday against the Cubs, hurling seven shutout innings of one-hit ball. The Brewers finish their six-game homestand by facing the Phillies' Aaron Nola (8-2, 2.27).
Stephen Cohn is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. Follow him on Twitter @Stephen__Cohn.