K-Rod blows lead, Brewers lose to Phillies
Francisco Rodriguez can't seem to protect any lead.
Jimmy Rollins hit an RBI single off Rodriguez with two outs in the 10th and the Philadelphia Phillies rallied in their last at-bat for the fourth straight day, beating the Milwaukee Brewers 7-6 to complete their first three-game sweep of the season on Wednesday.
Rodriguez, appointed the closer last week, allowed four runs in the ninth in a 7-6 loss Monday. The four-time All-Star has blown six saves in nine chances.
''I don't know what to tell you, man, to be honest with you,'' Rodriguez said. ''I've just gotta take the heat, take the responsibility. We lost the game because of me. Simple as that. It hurts. At this point, I've just gotta be strong and stay positive and not give up. Keep working hard and try and improve.''
This sure isn't the same K-Rod who set a major league record with 62 saves with the Angels in 2008.
''He got that first hitter out and then threw a couple good fastballs and then got wild with it. So I don't know,'' manager Ron Roenicke said.
The five-time defending NL East champions have won four in a row, including three walkoff wins.
Rollins had the winning hit in the 12th against San Francisco on Sunday. The Phillies scored four runs off Rodriguez in the ninth in a 7-6 win Monday, and six in the eighth in a 7-6 win Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, the Phillies signed Cole Hamels to a $144 million, six-year deal that prevents the 2008 World Series MVP from becoming a free agent in November.
They celebrated with their eighth win in 12 games since the All-Star break and moved closer to getting out of last place. The Phillies remained 9 1/2 games behind in the wild-card standings.
Michael Schwimer (2-1) allowed an unearned run in the 10th, but earned the win.
John Mayberry Jr. walked with one out in the 10th against Rodriguez (2-6). Eric Kratz followed with a double. Pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz hit a sacrifice fly to tie it.
Rollins then ripped an RBI single to right-center to end it.
Ryan Braun hit a tying, two-run homer off Antonio Bastardo in the eighth and Rickie Weeks also connected. But the Brewers lost their sixth straight game - all on the road.
''I haven't been around the game much, but this is the worst road trip I think I've ever been on, the most disheartening and heartbreaking, too,'' Brewers reliever John Axford said. ''All three of the losses here were just really tough.''
Carlos Gomez led off the 10th by reaching second when third baseman Ty Wigginton dropped his pop-up. Gomez advanced on a sacrifice by Cesar Izturis. After Braun was intentionally walked, Ramirez lofted a shallow fly to right. Second baseman Utley made an over-the-shoulder catch, but his off-balance turnaround throw was too late to get Gomez.
Phillies starter Vance Worley allowed three runs and 10 hits. Kyle Kendrick got five outs to extend his scoreless streak to 20 1-3 innings.
Brewers started Marco Estrada allowed five runs and eight hits in four innings.
Utley ripped an RBI double to center to put Philadelphia up 2-1 in the third. He scored on Hunter Pence's looping single to right to make it 3-1.
Utley delivered again in the fourth, stroking a two-out double to left-center to drive in a pair and extend the lead to 5-1.
Weeks hit a solo shot in the sixth and Gomez drove in another run with a double to get Milwaukee within 5-3.
Worley exited with runners on second and third and one out.
Kendrick entered and retired Nyjer Morgan on a shallow fly to right. He intentionally walked Braun to load the bases before Aramis Ramirez flied out to end the inning.
The Brewers took a 1-0 lead in the second on Martin Maldonado's RBI single.
Juan Pierre hit a two-out double and scored on a single by Eric Kratz to tie it at 1 in the bottom half.
In the first, Gomez circled the bases before realizing a ball he hit down the left-field line hooked outside the foul pole. He struck out on the next pitch.
Notes: The Brewers return home where they are 6-0-1 in their last seven series. ... Weeks tied a career-high with four hits. ... The Brewers start a four-game series against NL East-leading Washington on Thursday. Yovani Gallardo (8-7) starts against Edwin Jackson (5-6).
Rob Maaddi can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/RobMaaddi