Harper, Phils hit 6 HRs, Wheeler shuts down Brewers 12-0
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Bryce Harper hit an early home run, Brad Miller connected twice and Jean Segura added a grand slam, leading Zack Wheeler and the Philadelphia Phillies to a 12-0 romp over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday.
Andrew McCutchen and Freddy Galvis also homered as Philadelphia won for the eighth time in the last 10 games to stay in the playoff chase. The Phillies have beaten the NL Central-leading Brewers five straight times this year.
Harper is hitting .383 (18 for 47) with five homers and 14 RBIs in his last 12 games.
“Harp got us going early. Getting that momentum going early is big, especially what we’re trying to accomplish right now, ” Wheeler said. “I was able to ride that.”
Wheeler (12-9) threw six crisp innings, outpitching Brandon Woodruff (9-8) in a rematch of All-Star righties. On May 6 in Philadelphia, Wheeler tossed a three-hitter for a 2-0 win over Woodruff, who struck out 11 in that loss.
“He’s tough, man,” Woodruff said of Wheeler. “He throws hard. That cutter he throws is late. And, he can hit, too. He’s good, he’s really good.”
The Phillies lost two of three to the Miami Marlins before coming to Milwaukee.
“We have a resilient team here,” Wheeler said. “We went down to Miami, those were games that we were supposed to win. We didn’t do as well as we hoped, but we come up here and we played really well against the Brewers.”
Harper gave the Phillies a quick lead with his 28th homer, a two-run drive in the first. Galvis connected in the second and Miller homered to lead off the fourth.
“We got beat by a good starting pitcher today,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “Score got out of hand at the end, but we got beat by a really good starting pitcher.”
Philadelphia broke it open with a seven-run eighth. McCutchen led off with his 24th homer and Ronald Torreyes had an RBI single that chased reliever Brad Boxberger.
Daniel Norris took over and made a throwing error that scored a run, and Segura cleared the bases with his slam.
Miller hit his second home run of the game, connecting on a 61 mph curve from catcher Luke Maile in the ninth. The six homers were one short of the season-high seven the Phillies hit on June 1 at Cincinnati.
“It’s go time,” Miller said. “Wheels was pretty dang good. We’re going up against a Cy Young pitcher with Woodruff there and to jump on him early, Bryce with the big homer, Freddy adding on. Great to jump out and be feeling good and have those couple of losses in Miami in the rear view.”
Wheeler scattered five harmless singles, walked none and struck out nine. He leads the majors with 217 strikeouts, two more than Yankees ace Gerrit Cole.
Woodruff hurt himself this time by surrendering three home runs in a game for the first time this season. He allowed nine hits, including two singles by Wheeler, a walk and struck out six.
“I made essentially three bad pitches there that cost me for the long ball,” Woodruff said. “You can live with the solo homers. The two-run homer that one hurts you a little bit more than the solos.”
Brewers: 2B Kolten Wong is back from the paternity list. … RF Avisaíl García hasn’t been in the starting lineup since Sept. 2 as he deals with soreness in his lower back and legs. He ran the bases before the game and could return Tuesday or Wednesday, according to Counsell. … OF Tyrone Taylor (strained right oblique) is headed out on a rehab assignment. He and C Manny Piña (left oblique tightness) also ran the bases.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (7-7, 4.54 ERA) is 4-0 with a 2.75 ERA in seven career starts against Milwaukee, including a 10-strikeout, 6-5 victory on May 4 in Philadelphia.
Brewers: LHP Eric Lauer (4-5, 3.75 ERA) faces Nola and the Phillies for the second time this season. Lauer allowed six runs, two earned, on eight hits over six innings on May 4.
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