Bullpen holds as Phillies beat Brewers 6-5
MILWAUKEE Jimmy Rollins hit his 21st home run of the season, Ryan Howard tied Prince Fielder for the major league RBI lead and the Philadelphia Phillies took another step toward clinching the NL East title with a 6-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
Ryan Madson got four outs for his ninth save as a struggling bullpen finally came through for the Phillies, who cut their magic number to three. Any combination of Phillies wins or Braves losses equaling three would give Philadelphia its third consecutive division crown.
Atlanta beat Washington 6-3 in 10 innings Sunday.
After getting the final out of the eighth, Madson got Ryan Braun to ground out in the ninth before giving up a double to Fielder. Pinch-hitter Felipe Lopez tapped a ball back to Madson for a groundout, and Fielder advanced to third. Mike Cameron took a called third strike to end the game.
With Milwaukee trailing 6-1 in the sixth, Brewers pinch-hitter Mat Gamel hit a three-run homer off starter Joe Blanton. Braun added an RBI single off Clay Condrey to cut the lead to one.
Blanton (12-7) gave up five runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.
The Phillies jumped on Brewers starter Dave Bush (5-9) before most fans found their seats for the team's final home game of the season.
Rollins hit his fifth leadoff homer of the season, Chase Utley tripled off the wall in center field with one out and Howard smacked an RBI double, tying Fielder for the major league RBI lead with 137.
Bush recovered to strike out Jayson Werth, then catcher Mike Rivera picked off Howard at second base to end the inning.
But Bush, who has struggled since returning from the disabled list late last month, had more trouble in the second.
With the Brewers trailing 2-0 and runners on first and second, Blanton squared to lay down a sacrifice bunt — and Bush hit him in the thigh with a soft curveball, loading the bases with one out.
Bush came back to strike out Rollins, but gave up a two-run double to Shane Victorino that put the Phillies up 4-0. Cameron led off the second with his 22nd homer, cutting the lead to 4-1.
Bush was lifted with one out in the fifth, and reliever Josh Butler gave up a walk, threw a wild pitch and allowed a two-run single to Pedro Feliz that gave Philadelphia a 6-1 lead. Bush gave up nine hits and was charged with five runs.
NOTES: Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said he has not made a decision about the future of manager Ken Macha. Macha, under contract for one more season, said Saturday that he is optimistic about returning. ... Rollins' homer was the 33rd leadoff shot of his career. ... With clouds rolling in, Miller Park's roof was closed in the sixth and the outfield wall panels were closed in the seventh.