PHILADELPHIA (AP) - An injury-riddled lineup and lack of consistent offense have caused the Phillies to play under .500 for most of the season. Lady Luck hasn't been helping either.
A missed call in the ninth inning helped thwart a Phillies rally and Philadelphia fell 4-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday to lose its third straight and for the fifth time in seven games.
The Brewers were aided by second-base umpire Mike Estabrook, who ruled pinch-runner Kyle Kendrick was out on Francisco Rodriguez's pickoff attempt at second base for the second out in the ninth inning, though replays showed that shortstop Jean Segura didn't have the ball in his glove when he applied the tag.
Home-plate umpire Tom Hallion, the crew chief, confirmed that it was an incorrect call after looking at the replay.
``The ball goes in the glove and comes out of the glove with Kendrick diving back in and with Segura diving back for the ball,' Hallion told a pool reporter. ``Obviously, Mike was in the right position to make a pickoff play call like that. But the way that the play developed, the ball comes free and rolls right in Segura's bare hand and he comes up shows him the ball.'
The play proved to be pivotal when the Phillies' next batter, Cesar Hernandez, doubled off the wall in right on a play that Kendrick easily would have scored on and tied the game at 4.
``It was just a bad call,' Kendrick said. ``If I was out, I guess it would be embarrassing but I wasn't. You never want to get picked off, but to know you're safe when you're out, it ended up losing the game for us.'
The fact that the Phillies even had to run Kendrick, a pitcher, is part of their problem. Three-fourths of Philadelphia's regular infield didn't start on Saturday as Jimmy Rollins (foot) and Chase Utley (back) were injured and Michael Young missed his fourth straight game while on the bereavement list. Regular catcher Carlos Ruiz (hamstring) also didn't play.
``That's what happens sometimes when you try to run pitchers, I guess,' Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said before seeing the replay. ``Let me tell you something, when you miss two, three, four players, that makes a whole lot of difference. You can get by sometimes putting one guy in there, but when you start playing two, three, four not only does it put a heavy load on the team, it puts a heavy load on those guys too.'
Jonathan Lucroy homered and Wily Peralta tossed seven strong innings for the Brewers.
Logan Schafer went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI for Milwaukee, which won its second straight after finishing May tied for the worst winning percentage (.214) in club history.
``We got some breaks again today,' Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. ``This game is fun because you're always trying to figure it out. It's frustrating because you can't do anything about it. It really isn't fair.'
Peralta (4-6) entered on a four-game losing streak but had one of his best outings of the season, surrendering two runs and eight hits with six strikeouts and a walk. Peralta successfully pitched out of trouble throughout and stranded runners at second in four of his seven innings, including when he struck out Domonic Brown with his final pitch in the seventh.
Brown had 12 homers in May with six in his last five games. He went 1 for 4 with a single and a pair of strikeouts Saturday. Freddy Galvis homered and Hernandez went 3 for 5. The Phillies dropped to 8-24 when scoring three runs or less.
Rodriguez earned his third straight save.
Tyler Cloyd (1-2) gave up three runs (two earned) on eight hits with three strikeouts and one walk in seven innings. Cloyd, who was called up when Roy Halladay (shoulder) went on the DL, was making his fourth start of the season. He allowed two earned runs in each of his first two starts before getting battered for six runs on nine hits in 2 1-3 innings in Monday's 9-3 loss at Boston.
``I definitely worked on things this week and the results were there,' Cloyd said. ``I felt strong all the way. The way the last outing went or me, I wanted to throw strikes and stay down in the zone.'
Delmon Young was responsible for two of the Brewers' first three runs, as his throwing error in the second inning allowed Lucroy to score after Schafer's RBI single that also scored Aramis Ramirez and gave Milwaukee a 2-0 lead.
Kevin Frandsen's RBI groundout in the fourth pulled the Phillies within 2-1. But the Brewers got the run back in the fifth when Segura tripled off Young's glove right-center to score Norichika Aoki and give Milwaukee a 3-1 lead.
``I'm sure he'd probably tell you he could have caught it,' Manuel said of Young's missed catch of Segura's hit.
NOTES: Schafer was filling in for regular center fielder Carlos Gomez, who got the day off. . Brown became the first player in major league history with at least 10 homers and no walks in a month. . Brewers right-hander Mike Fiers (1-3, 5.66) is scheduled to face Phillies lefty Cliff Lee (6-2, 2.34) in the finale of the three-game series at 1:35 Sunday.
The Associated Press News Service
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