Once upon a time Fausto Carmona was a 19-game winner with the Cleveland Indians. That was in 2007.
Now known by his birth name, Roberto Hernandez, the Philadelphia Phillies right-hander was just about as good as he’s ever been—by any name—while leading the Phillies to a 4-1 win over the slumping Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday at Miller Park.
Hernandez (4-8) kept the Brewers off balance all night, allowing just three singles and needing only 84 pitches in an eight-inning gem. Jonathan Papelbon picked up his 22nd save—and his third in three nights—with a perfect ninth for Philadelphia (40-51).
The Brewers (52-40) lost for the eighth time in their last nine games and, with the St. Louis Cardinals again beating the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday, their lead in the National League Central is down to two games—the smallest Milwaukee’s lead has been since they were 1½ games up on May 27.
Kyle Lohse (9-4) came up empty for the third straight start. He didn’t pitch badly, but made a couple of mistakes to a pair of former NL Most Valuable Players and, with the way Milwaukee has hit lately, that was enough.
Chase Utley, who has just raked the Brewers in this series, hit his second homer of the set and his eighth of the season with two outs in the first inning to put the Phillies up 1-0.
Utley is now 6-for-11 with two homers and six RBI in the three games in the series thus far.
The Brewers tied it in the second. Aramis Ramirez beat out an infield single deep in the hole at shortstop and moved to second on a groundout.
Lyle Overbay followed with a ground ball single up the middle to score the run.
With the exception of a single to right by Overbay in the fourth, that would be Milwaukee’s last hit.
Cameron Rupp added an RBI single for the Phillies in the seventh.
Lohse went eight innings, allowing four runs on seven hits while fanning eight. He did commit his first error since 2010 when he threw wildly to first on a ball hit by Utley that hit Lohse in the foot and stayed on the mound.
Rob Wooten worked a 1-2-3 ninth for Milwaukee, striking out one.
The Brewers are now just 1-6 in July and, with the exception of their 13-hit outburst in Tuesday’s loss, are hitting just .179 this month (39-for-218). Even with the output on Tuesday, the average is still just .202 and they have scored only 20 runs—seven in one game.
Milwaukee even broke out the Flashback Friday uniforms and the ball-and-glove caps, but to no avail.
Matt Garza (6-5, 3.78 ERA), the only Brewers pitcher to win a game during the recent funk, will try to prevent a Philadelphia sweep on Thursday at 1:10 p.m. The Phillies counter with right-hander David Buchanan (4-5, 4.82 ERA).