Brewers 6, Phillies 3(12)
Joe Blanton got himself back on track, even though he doesn't have a win to show for it.
Blanton was long gone by the time Ryan Braun drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the 12th inning to help the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-3 on Monday night.
Blanton bounced back from two rough outings. He gave up two runs and seven hits in seven innings for the Phillies. It was the best outing so far for the forgotten starter in Philadelphia's star-studded rotation. Blanton lowered his ERA to 7.27 from 10.45.
''I felt a little better out of the stretch,'' Blanton said. ''A small fix went a long way.''
After his last start, Blanton noticed something wasn't right with the way he was pitching out of the stretch. He made a slight adjustment and the results were impressive.
Brandon Kintzler (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings to earn his first win in the majors.
The NL East-leading Phillies rallied against closer John Axford in the ninth, tying it at 3 on pinch-hitter Pete Orr's RBI single with one out.
But the Brewers held on and snapped a three-game losing streak to become the fifth straight team to beat Philadelphia in a series opener. The Phillies haven't lost a series, however.
Rickie Weeks led off the 12th with a walk against Kyle Kendrick (0-1). Carlos Gomez sacrificed and reached safely on Kendrick's wild throw that allowed Weeks to reach third.
Braun followed with a sac fly to deep center. He thought he'd hit a three-run homer and looked frustrated when the ball didn't go out. Yuniesky Betancourt also had a sac fly and Jonathan Lucroy singled in a run to make it 6-3.
Milwaukee's Shaun Marcum allowed one unearned run and five hits, striking out five in six innings.
''He pitched a pretty good game, kept us off balance most of the night,'' Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
The Brewers took a 3-2 lead in the eighth on Betancourt's RBI groundout. Braun lined a single leading off against Ryan Madson. He went to third on Prince Fielder's double and scored on Betancourt's one-out grounder to third.
Betancourt got the Brewers out of trouble an inning earlier with a spectacular catch. The Phillies had runners on first and second with one out when Placido Polanco ripped a shot up the middle. The ball hit pitcher Sergio Mitre on the side and bounced high in the air. Betancourt, who broke for the middle, reversed direction, ran in and made a diving grab then easily doubled a runner off second to end the threat.
His defensive gem made up for a pair of miscues by teammates that led to a pair of unearned runs.
The Phillies tied it at 2 in the seventh. Wilson Valdez reached on an error when third baseman Casey McGehee couldn't handle an in-between hop to start the inning. Valdez went to third on pinch-hitter Ross Gload's single to left. Mitre entered and got Shane Victorino to hit a high bouncer to first. Fielder charged in and backhanded it, but his throw to the plate was wide and Valdez slid in safely under the tag.
The Brewers took a 2-1 lead with a pair of two-out runs in the third. Gomez and Braun hit consecutive RBI singles.
A fielding error by second baseman Weeks led to Philadelphia's first run in the first. Ryan Howard had an RBI single.
Notes: Phillies RHP Roy Oswalt threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session and is on track to make his scheduled start on Thursday. Oswalt left his last start after six innings because of spasms in the middle of his back. ... Phillies LHP J.C. Romero left after straining his right calf in the ninth. He seems headed for the disabled list. ... A crowd of 45,637 was the 145th consecutive sellout at Citizens Bank Park, including postseason. ... The Phillies lead the majors with 12 pinch hits.