Hernandez, Joseph homer, but Phillies lose 8th in 9 games
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Pete Mackanin saw 160-pound Cesar Hernandez hit a 418-foot homer to center field and figured his Philadelphia Phillies were on their way to a big offensive day.
Domingo Santana hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning, Jonathan Villar went deep for the third straight game and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Phillies 6-3 on Saturday.
The Phillies did nothing after the second inning, when Tommy Joseph hit a solo homer and Hernandez hit a two-run shot. They've lost eight of nine and 12 of 15.
''I couldn't believe Cesar hit that ball out to dead center,'' Mackanin said. ''It was carrying. That's why I thought we'd have a good day. Then we got shut down. Our guys give away too many at-bats. You have to be consistent. Too many at-bats go away too quickly. They get two strikes and flail away at a pitch. Good hitters don't do that.''
Santana connected off Hector Neris (1-3) to start the eighth for his fourth homer and first since returning from the disabled list on Friday. Villar had three hits and two RBIs.
Neris had been excellent in a set-up role before losing two games this week.
''Hector doesn't look the same,'' Mackanin said. ''He's tentative. I don't know why that is.''
Will Smith (1-0) tossed a perfect seventh to earn the win. Tyler Thornburg had a 1-2-3 eighth and Jeremy Jeffress finished for his 15th save in 16 tries.
Scooter Gennett gave the Brewers a three-run cushion in the ninth with a two-out, two-run single off Andrew Bailey.
Joseph homered to straightaway center to tie it at 1 in the second. He has four homers in 53 at-bats since being called up from Triple-A.
After Tyler Goeddel tripled off the wall in left-center, Hernandez drove his first homer of the season out to deep center to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead. Hernandez had three hits.
''Things haven't been going well for me,'' Hernandez said. ''I have to focus on identifying pitches in the strike zone and getting better with two strikes.''
Jonathan Lucroy lined a triple off the foul stripe on the left-field wall to start the fifth. He scored on Chris Carter's sacrifice fly to tie it at 3.
Villar led off with his third homer in the series. He had two homers in 51 games before arriving at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park on Thursday night.
His RBI single in the fourth cut it to 3-2.
The Brewers had runners on first and third with one out, but Aaron Hill struck out and Ryan Braun bounced out to the pitcher.
Villar reached on an infield single with a headfirst dive into first base to load the bases with two outs in the second. But Hill flied out to end the inning.
Both Villar and Santana began their careers in Philadelphia's organization. Villar was traded to Houston in the deal that brought Roy Oswalt to the Phillies in July 2010. Santana was traded to the Astros a year later in a package for Hunter Pence.
Brewers: Junior Guerra allowed three runs and six hits in six innings.
Phillies: Jeremy Hellickson gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings.
''My command wasn't where it's been,'' Hellickson said.
Philadelphia's Carlos Ruiz snapped an 0-for-21 skid with a single to right in the second.
SECOND TIME'S A CHARM
A fan who dropped a foul ball got one on the next pitch when Ruiz fouled it back to the same spot into the second deck behind the plate.
RHP Wily Peralta (3-6, 6.51) starts for the Brewers against Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (4-4, 2.88) in the series finale. Peralta is 3-2, 5.83 in five career starts vs. Philadelphia. Nola allowed one run in seven innings to earn a win in his only start vs. Milwaukee on April 22.