Looking to extend their longest winning streak of the season, the Philadelphia Phillies try to move above the .500 mark for the first time in 2013 as they begin a four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Phils embark on a 10-game road trip having won four straight, pushing their record to 30-30. That is the first time Philadelphia has been at the even mark since it was 6-6 back on April 14.
After winning the finale of a three-game set with the Brewers last weekend, the Phillies finished off a sweep of the Miami Marlins with Wednesday's 6-1 win. Cole Hamels snapped a personal career-high six-game losing streak with just his second win of the season, allowing one run over seven innings while striking out a season-high 11.
Hamels earned his first win since April 28, while Domonic Brown notched his NL-leading 18th home run of the season, a two-run shot. Ryan Howard tripled and drove in a pair of runs.
"I think getting back to .500 is key just to start over," Hamels said. "Winning series, if you're able to do that in the ultimate long run you're going to have a winning record and you're going to be near the top of your division. We accomplished a good goal."
Though they lost two of three at home versus the Brewers last weekend, the Phillies have won nine of their past 12 in Milwaukee.
The Brewers followed up their series win in Philadelphia by losing two of three at home to the Oakland Athletics. They dropped Wednesday's rubber match 6-1 after the A's broke open the game late.
Carlos Gomez drove in the lone run for the Brewers, who saw starter Yovani Gallardo (4-6) allow five runs on six hits and a walk in six-plus innings.
"It's a shame when you're good until the seventh and then you give up five runs. It's tough," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.
Gomez's RBI came with one out in the home half of the first, when he smacked a triple deep into center and plated Jean Segura. The offense went cold after that as Milwaukee lost for the ninth time in its last 12.
Ryan Braun did not play on Wednesday to rest a nagging left thumb injury. His absence came one day after a report by ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that Biogenesis of America founder Tony Bosch had reached an agreement to cooperate with MLB for alleged player involvement with the anti-aging clinic having supplied players with performance-enhancing drugs.
Nearly 20 players are suspected of having involvement, including Braun and New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, and MLB is reportedly set to push for suspensions of the players involved.
On the field, Milwaukee's Wily Peralta put an end to a four-start slide with a victory over Philadelphia last Saturday and tries to win consecutive starts for the second time this season tonight.
The righty logged a season-high seven innings last time out and scattered two runs, eight hits and a walk while striking out six in the 4-3 win. He was nearly left without a decision after the Phillies got the trying run to second base in the ninth, but pinch-running pitcher Kyle Kendrick was picked off despite the fact that Milwaukee shortstop Segura appeared to drop the ball while attempting the tag.
Philadelphia's Cesar Hernandez followed with a double that probably would have scored Kendrick.
"We got a lucky break, and that's the difference in the game," Segura said. "We got this guy out, and we're happy we got it."
Regardless, the 24-year-old Peralta moved to 4-6 with a 5.94 earned run average in 12 starts this season.
While Peralta held on for the win, Tyler Cloyd was saddled with the loss for the Phillies and gets a rematch tonight. He was charged with three runs -- two earned -- on eight hits over seven innings.
The right-hander was much better than his previous outing in Boston, where he was shelled for six runs over 2 1/3 innings of a loss on May 27. The 26-year- old Cloyd is 1-2 overall in four starts this season with a 4.76 ERA.
"I worked on things this week with getting the ball down more and sitting back," Cloyd told the Phillies' website after losing to the Brewers. "The results were there, so it'd definitely be nice being able to do that."
Both Cloyd and Peralta were facing their respective opponents for the first time.