As their offense continues to squander scoring chances, the Philadelphia Phillies have fallen back following a surprising start.
Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco are among those scuffling, though they might be able to find their stroke against the Milwaukee Brewers.
They'll try to resume their success in this series Thursday night when the Phillies look to avoid their seventh straight loss overall and eighth in a row at home to the Brewers in the opener of this four-game set.
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Philadelphia's rotation led the way with a 3.72 ERA as the supposed rebuilding club won 24 of its first 41 games. The starters, however, haven't been able to carry the load while the Phillies have averaged just 2.5 runs, batted .223 and struck out 102 times during an ensuing 2-10 stretch.
Tyler Goeddel's seventh-inning homer accounted for the only runs as Philadelphia (26-27) fanned 12 times in Wednesday's 7-2 home loss to Washington that dropped it below .500 for the first time since April 24.
"We know where we need to go. We're not there yet," manager Pete Mackanin said.
Since raising his batting average to a season-high .343 and his on-base percentage to .453 on May 16, Herrera is batting .250 with a .345 OBP. Franco's average has dipped to .247 while in the midst of a 1-for-15 slump, and he has one homer in his last 19 games but remains tied for the team lead with eight.
Now they hope to get back on track and lead a resurgence against a Milwaukee pitching staff they've battered. Herrera's .424 average in nine games against Milwaukee is his highest versus any NL opponent, including 5 for 12 with a homer from April 22-24 when the Phillies took two of three at Miller Park. Franco was 7 for 13 with three homers and eight RBIs in that series.
Chase Anderson (2-6, 5.00 ERA) allowed six runs - three on a Franco home run - over four innings in a 10-6 loss April 23. That was in the midst of a five-game slide, though he has a 2.89 ERA in his last three starts.
The right-hander hasn't fared well versus Philadelphia, going 0-2 with a 7.53 ERA in three starts.
Milwaukee is coming off a 3-3 homestand which concluded with a 3-1 win over St. Louis on Wednesday.
"We had some tough losses, so it was good to finish out the series with a win and not get swept," pitcher Zach Davis told MLB's official website.
Ryan Braun went 2 for 4 with an RBI on Wednesday. He's homered in three of his last four versus Philadelphia and is batting .473 with nine long balls in his past 22 at Citizens Bank Park.
Jonathan Lucroy has gone 13 for 28 while the Brewers have averaged 7.6 runs during a seven-game winning streak at Philadelphia.
They'll try to continue that run against Jerad Eickhoff, who allowed a season-high seven runs over 5 1/3 innings in an 8-5 loss at Milwaukee (24-29) on April 24. That was also part of his personal five-game slide.
Eickhoff (2-7, 4.07) surrendered more than three earned runs for only the second time in 10 starts in Saturday's 4-1 loss at Wrigley Field.
Braun went 2 for 3 with a home run off the right-hander in April, while Chris Carter had two doubles and Scooter Gennett homered. Kirk Nieuwenhuis has gone 4 for 6 with three doubles lifetime in the matchup.