McCutchen, Hoskins lead Phillies past Brewers 6-4
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies needed a big performance from their bullpen after Jerad Eickhoff struggled.
Vince Velasquez and company delivered.
Five relievers combined for six scoreless innings and Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking double to help Philadelphia beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-4 on Friday night, overcoming Christian Yelich’s major league-leading 20th homer.
“Our bullpen was really good tonight,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “As good as they’ve been all year and through a lineup like this.”
Velasquez (2-2), who was reinstated from the injured list earlier in the day, pitched two innings for the win. The usual starter struck out four and walked one.
Velasquez had been sidelined by a right forearm strain.
“I haven’t thrown in a while, but it seemed like everything kind of somehow found its groove,” he said.
McCutchen’s two-hit hit drove in Scott Kingery for a 5-4 lead. Rhys Hoskins added his 12th homer in the seventh, and Héctor Neris struck out the side in the ninth for his ninth save in nine tries.
Yelich returned after missing two games with back spasms and went deep in the third. Orlando Arcia also homered, but Milwaukee was hurt by some shaky relief.
Freddy Peralta (2-2) allowed two runs and three hits in two innings. Matt Albers also permitted a run while recording three outs.
Kingery’s RBI double made it 2-1 Phillies in the second, but the Brewers tied it in the bottom half on Arcia’s fifth homer. After Yelich connected, Yasmani Grandal made it 4-2 with an RBI double off Eickhoff.
Maikel Franco got one back for Philadelphia when he singled in Hoskins in the fourth. Bryce Harper tied it up in the fifth with an RBI double.
Philadelphia had a chance to go in front, but Lorenzo Cain hauled in Cesar Hernandez’s shot to deep center as he crashed into the wall.
The Phillies cut down the potential go-ahead run in the fifth when Yelich was thrown out at the plate on a failed double-steal attempt.
“We were trying to steal a run there,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “I’d do it again, frankly.”
Neither starter fared well. Milwaukee’s Chase Anderson gave up three runs and six hits in four innings, while Eickhoff surrendered four runs and five hits in three innings.
Phillies: RHP Pat Neshek likely will be placed in the injured list after experiencing shoulder pain when throwing earlier on Friday. He has been sent to Philadelphia for further tests, Kapler said. ... RHP Drew Anderson was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room on the roster for Velasquez. ... OF Odubel Herrera fouled a ball off his right shin in the eighth but remained in the game after being checked by a team trainer.
Brewers: C Manny Pina, on the 10-day IL with a right hamstring strain, ran and caught a bullpen session. He could take batting practice on Saturday. ... RHP Jimmy Nelson was reinstated from the injured list and optioned to Triple-A San Antonio. Nelson hasn’t appeared in a major league game since having shoulder surgery in September 2017. ... INF Travis Shaw (right wrist strain) continued a rehab assignment at Triple-A San Antonio.
Yelich got his 20th homer in his 45th game this season, making him the fastest in team history to reach the mark. Prince Fielder had been the fastest to 20 homers when he reached the number in his 58th game in 2007.
“All those honors are cool, but the focus is always on winning games,” Yelich said.
Yelich attracted attention at the Raptors-Bucks NBA playoff game Thursday night in Milwaukee when he appeared on the videoboard chugging a beer. Green Bay Packers offensive lineman David Bakhtiari earlier guzzled three beers during a timeout.
“When I saw (Yelich) doing that, I was pretty sure he was going to play today,” Counsell said. “He’s not in the professional beer-drinking league. I think Bakhtiari might be, at least he should be.”
Yelich said he dodged the challenge until the fourth quarter. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it,” he said.
Phillies shortstop Jean Segura extended his hitting streak to 15 games.
Phillies: Jake Arrieta (4-4, 3.77 ERA) pitches on Saturday. He is 8-7 with a 3.38 ERA in 18 career starts against Milwaukee.
Brewers: Jhoulys Chacin (3-5, 4.65 ERA) is 4-1 with a 2.59 ERA in nine career games (seven starts) against Philadelphia.
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