MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies found their offense and Kyle Kendrick benefited from some rare run support.
Having been held to five runs or fewer for 13 consecutive games, the Phillies broke out for six runs in the first two innings Tuesday night on their way to a 9-7 win over the sputtering Milwaukee Brewers. The Phillies sent 10 batters to the plate and tallied five runs in the second after the Brewers scored five times in the first.
"It’s very encouraging. What it took was some patience and some good at-bats and big hits with men on base," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "It was a good offensive night. Obviously, (Kendrick) needed that support after his first inning. Then he settled in pretty well and the bullpen was outstanding."
Domonic Brown homered and had a two-run single and the Phillies rallied from a big early deficit to outlast the Brewers, who remain in first place in the NL Central despite losing three straight games and seven of their last eight.
"Tonight, (Brown) had a good, level swing," Sandberg said. "He laid off some tough pitches."
The Phillies scored five in the second off Brewers starter Wily Peralta (9-6). Ben Revere drove in two runs with a ground-rule double and Chase Utley had a two-run single. Koyie Hill contributed a run-scoring single.
"Having multiple hits in an inning becomes contagious. Everybody was feeding off everybody else," Sandberg said.
The first-place Brewers have dropped seven of eight games.
Kendrick (4-8) picked up the victory for Philadelphia despite giving up 11 hits and seven earned runs over 5 2-3 innings. He walked two and struck out two.
"Baseball is crazy," Kendrick said. "The guys picked me up. It wasn’t my best outing, that’s for sure, but the guys swung the bats and picked me up and then the bullpen came into a tough situation and did well."
Kendrick entered the game with a major league worst 2.94 runs of support per nine innings over his previous 24 starts, a stretch in which he was 3-13. The Phillies had been shut out five times in that stretch and had scored one run or fewer in eight games.
"We were just trying to get something good going for him. It felt good to get a win like that," Brown said.
Kendrick settled down after his first-inning struggles and kept the Brewers’ struggling offense in check over the next four innings. He ran into trouble in the sixth, giving up a two-run, pinch-hit home run to Mark Reynolds that sliced the Phillies’ lead to 9-7.
Four Phillies relievers combined to hold the Brewers scoreless over the final 3 1-3 innings. Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth inning to record his 21st save in 23 attempts.
The Phillies grabbed the lead in the first on Chase Utley’s sacrifice fly before the Brewers scored five runs in their half of the inning on Scooter Gennett’s solo homer and Lyle Overbay’s grand slam.
Brown’s solo home run in the third extended the Phillies lead to 7-5. He added a two-run single in the fifth as the Phillies’ lead grew to four runs.
Peralta gave up eight hits and nine earned runs over 4 1-3 innings. He walked three and struck out four.
"We are not playing that great right now. But we’re a good team," Peralta said. "These are things that happen to every team. We’re going to bounce back."
The Phillies have captured the first two games of the series after losing six straight to the Brewers coming in.
NOTES: Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, who has been bothered by a bad back, didn’t play. . Carlos Gomez returned to the leadoff spot for Milwaukee after being shifted to cleanup while Aramis Ramirez was out with a hamstring issue. . Overbay hit his fifth career grand slam. . Cole Hamels, who earned the win in Monday night’s game, is the first Phillies pitcher since the NL began recording earned runs in 1912 to win three or fewer games in his first 15 starts of the season and have an ERA under 3.00. . Milwaukee’s Kyle Lohse (9-3) squares off against Philadelphia’s Robert Hernandez (3-8) Wednesday in the third of a four-game series.