Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Brewers 1

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Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Brewers 1

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MILWAUKEE – Roberto Hernandez pitched a gem and Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins both hit home runs to lead the Phillies to a 4-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.

The Phillies opened this 10-game trip with five losses in the first six games, but have beaten the struggling Brewers three straight nights.

The Phils can make it a four-game sweep and a .500 trip with a win Thursday afternoon.

The Brewers, who entered the game with the NL’s best record, are 1-7 in July.

The game was played in an old-fashioned two hours, 15 minutes.

The victory was the Phillies’ 40th of the season. They are the last team in the NL East to get to 40 wins. They are 11 games under .500.

Starting pitching report
Hernandez (4-8) went eight innings and allowed just three singles and one run. He walked two and struck out three. He needed just 84 pitches to get through eight innings and got 12 groundball outs.

Milwaukee’s Kyle Lohse (9-4) allowed four runs over eight innings. Three of the runs came on a pair of home runs. Lohse walked none and struck out eight. At one point, he retired 13 straight batters.

Bullpen report
Jonathan Papelbon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and registered his third save in as many nights. He has 22 on the season.

At the plate
All four of the Phillies’ runs came with two outs.

Rollins ended an 0-for-20 skid with his two-run homer with two outs in the sixth. Catcher Cameron Rupp was on base with a leadoff single. Rupp singled home a run with two outs in the seventh to give the Phils a 4-1 lead.

Chase Utley homered with two outs in the first, his second homer of the series.

Ryan Howard went 0 for 4. He is 2 for 26 on the trip.

Lyle Overbay drove in the Brewers’ only run with a single in the second inning.

Transaction
The Phillies activated reliever Jeff Manship from the disabled list. He replaced reliever B.J. Rosenberg, who was sent back to Triple A. Manager Ryne Sandberg said Rosenberg’s velocity was down from the mid-90s stuff he showed in September. The Phillies want Rosenberg to try to get more movement on his fastball by throwing a sinker and a cutter. He will work on the pitches at Triple A.

Health check
Cliff Lee (elbow) pitched four innings for Clearwater on Wednesday night. He projects to return after one more rehab start (see story).

Up next
The Phillies and Brewers wrap up the four-game series on Thursday afternoon. David Buchanan (4-5, 4.82) and Matt Garza (6-5, 3.78) are the pitchers.

Cuban ballplayers mourn loss of Jose Fernandez

Cuban ballplayers mourn loss of Jose Fernandez

CHICAGO — Chicago Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler played with Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez when the two were growing up in Cuba. They traveled together to Venezuela for a youth tournament.

Soler said Fernandez's ability was obvious, right from the start.

"Since he was a child, since we were kids, I knew he had something," Soler said through a translator. "He had a talent. It was very impressive."

Fernandez's death in a boating accident at the age of 24 cast a dark shadow over the major leagues on Sunday. Miami's home game against Atlanta was canceled, and several ballparks observed moments of silence. Wrigley Field's iconic hand-operated scoreboard displayed Fernandez's No. 16 in its pitching column next to Miami.

But the loss of Fernandez was felt most acutely in baseball's growing Cuban community.

"He was one of those guys that everybody loved," St. Louis Cardinals catcher Brayan Pena said. "He was one of those guys that everybody knew exactly what he meant to our community. For us, it's a big, big loss. It's one of those things where our thoughts and prayers are obviously with his family, the Marlins' organization and the fans. But it gets a little bit closer because he was part of our Cuban family."

There were 23 Cubans on opening-day major league rosters this year, an increase of five over last season and the most since the commissioner's office began releasing data in 1995. Many of the players share similar stories when it comes to their perilous journey from the communist country to the majors, and the difficulty of adjusting to life in the United States.

A native of Santa Clara, Cuba, Fernandez was unsuccessful in his first three attempts to defect, and spent several months in prison. At 15, Fernandez and his mother finally made it to Mexico, and were reunited in Florida with his father, who had escaped from Cuba two years earlier.

He was drafted by the Marlins in 2011, and quickly turned into one of the majors' top pitchers.

"How he was on the mound was a reflection of him," Oakland first baseman Yonder Alonso said. "A guy who had a lot of fun, was himself. A very talkative guy, he would come into the room and you'd know he was in the room. Never big-leagued anyone, very professional. No matter what, he would talk to you about hitting, because he thought he was the best hitter, and he (would) talk to you about pitching, because he thought he was the best pitcher."

Alonso said Fernandez's death was "a big-time shock." Yasiel Puig used torn pieces of white athletic tape to display Fernandez's jersey on the wall in the home dugout at Dodger Stadium. Cardinals rookie Aledmys Diaz, who had known Fernandez since they were little kids, declined an interview request through a team spokeswoman.

"We Cuban players know each other well and all of us have a great relationship," Pena said. "For us, it's devastating news when we woke up. We were sending text messages to each other and we were showing support. It's something that obviously nobody expects."

Fernandez, who became a U.S. citizen last year, also was beloved for his stature in the Cuban community in Miami.

"He was a great humanitarian," Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman said through a translator. "He gave a lot to the community and I think that's why he got a lot of respect from the community in terms of what a great person he was and always giving, in terms of always willing to help out in whatever way he can to try to better and progress within the community someone that perhaps wasn't as fortunate as he was."

The 28-year-old Chapman lives in the Miami-area in the offseason. He said he spent some time with Fernandez while he was home.

"He would come by my house. I would go by his," Chapman said. "We would have long conversations. We would talk a lot. We spent a lot of good amount of time together. It was very special for me."

Phillies' clubhouse reflects on life of Marlins' Jose Fernandez

Phillies' clubhouse reflects on life of Marlins' Jose Fernandez

NEW YORK — The clubhouse mood following the Phillies17-0 loss to the Mets Sunday was somber, in part because of the disastrous game that had just wrapped up, but also because of the tragic news of Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez’s death in a boating accident early Sunday morning.

“It was rough. People are devastated. I didn’t even know him and I was crushed,” Phillies starter Jake Thompson said. “I can only imagine how that clubhouse feels. That’s something that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy, to deal with something of that magnitude.”

Both teams paused for a moment of silence before Sunday’s game and the Mets taped a jersey bearing Fernandez’s name and number onto their dugout wall.

“This morning, that was quite a surprise,” manager Pete Mackanin said of the atmosphere of the day. “I don’t think it affected the players once the game started. It was such bad news this morning that everybody was kind of melancholy.”

Fernandez had built a strong track record against the Phillies in his young career, amassing a 2.88 ERA in six starts.

“It’s kind of cliché to say but you look at the start of his career and he could have been a Hall of Famer,” Thompson said.

Asked how he would remember facing Fernandez, Mackanin was succinct.

“He was a helluva pitcher,” he said.

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