MILWAUKEE — The Phillies’ seven-game road trip ended with a whimper Sunday afternoon.
For the second time in less than two weeks, the Phils were overpowered by Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff.
The hard-throwing right-hander held the Phillies to just one hit — a solo homer by Andrew Knapp in the sixth inning — over eight innings in leading his club to a 9-1 win at Miller Park.
The Phils had just one base runner and struck out 12 times.
The Brewers clouted five homers.
Woodruff, 7-1, beat the Phillies on May 14 in Philadelphia. He allowed just one hit in six innings in that one.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Phillies, who enter Memorial Day leading the NL East at 31-22.
The Phils completed the seven-game road trip to Chicago and Milwaukee with four wins and three losses.
• The Phillies looked completely flat.
• Milwaukee starter Woodruff probably had something to do with that. He used a mix of pitches that included a fastball that reached 98 mph to strike out a career-high 10. He walked none.
For good measure, Woodruff drove in two runs with an RBI double and an RBI single.
• Two days after a dynamic outing as a reliever, and just a few hours after manager Gabe Kapler announced that he was going to the bullpen full-time, Vince Velasquez looked awful in the fifth inning. He was asked to keep a deficit at 3-0. He failed miserably. He faced eight batters and got just two outs. He was tagged for two homers, a double and two singles — and he threw a wild pitch — as the Brewers scored four runs to turn it into a rout. The Brewers were on Velasquez’ fastball early in the count. Teams know he has a power fastball and likes to throw it. They will hunt it out of the bullpen so an adjustment may have to be made in his pitch sequencing.
Phillies starter Zach Eflin gave up six hits, including two homers, and three runs and did not pitch out of the fourth as Kapler tried to keep it close with a quick move to the bullpen. That didn’t work.
Eflin gave up some hard-hit balls on his fastball, particularly a pair of homers to Ben Gamel in the third and Yasmani Grandal in the fourth.
Tough day for Harper
Bryce Harper could not catch up to Woodruff’s fastball. He struck out three times on the right-hander’s 97-98 mph heater. Harper leads the majors with 73 strikeouts.
Reliever J.D. Hammer made his big-league debut with a scoreless sixth inning. He struck out one. He showed a breaking ball and a fastball that hit 96 mph on the radar gun. More on Hammer here.
The Phillies are off on Monday. They open a three-game series at home against St. Louis on Tuesday night. Nick Pivetta returns to the rotation in the first game of the series to face Adam Wainwright.
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