Instant Replay: Phillies 5, Brewers 2

Instant Replay: Phillies 5, Brewers 2

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MILWAUKEE -- The Phillies gave the NL Central-leading Brewers a taste of their own medicine Sunday, avoiding a second-half-opening sweep when Nick Williams belted his first career grand slam in a 5-2 victory at Miller Park.

Starting pitching report
Jeremy Hellickson (6-5) earned his first victory since May 19 by holding the Brewers to a pair of runs on four hits and a walk while striking out six over five innings of work. 

He hadn't taken a decision in his last four starts, but including Sunday's effort, has a 3.28 ERA in his last 30 1/3 innings of work. 

Save for an eight-run outburst in the second inning Friday night, Philadelphia's starters had a good series against Milwaukee, which began the second half with the fourth-most runs in the National League.

Bullpen report
Nothing to see here, just another scoreless outing from right-hander Pat Neshek, who hasn't allowed a run in 38 of his 40 outings this season, including his last five in a row.

He was one of four relievers to combine for four shutout innings against the Brewers, who made some noise by putting runners at the corners with two outs in the eighth against Luis Garcia, but he maintained the three-run lead by getting Travis Shaw on a fly out to left, ending the threat. 

Hector Neris brought the tying run to the plate by putting two on to start the ninth but retired the next three in a row to lock down his eighth save of the year.

At the plate
Odubel Herrera moved into the leadoff spot after going 3 for 7 with two home runs and three RBIs in the first two games of the series.

He came up big again Sunday, picking up a pair of hits including an RBI ground-rule double in the fifth that gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead.

Williams also had two hits, highlighted by his go-ahead blast in the fourth inning — his second home run of the season and the third grand slam of the year by a Phillies' batter.

Up next
The Phillies travel to Miami where RHP Tom Koehler (1-4, 8.00 ERA) and the Marlins await for a three-game series. Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (1-7, 4.63 ERA), who snapped a 14-start winless streak his last time out, gets the start for the Phillies.

Phillies recall Jake Thompson from Triple A, option Ricardo Pinto to Lehigh Valley

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USA Today Images

Phillies recall Jake Thompson from Triple A, option Ricardo Pinto to Lehigh Valley

After Monday night's rain-soaked blowout loss, the Phillies' bullpen seems to be a bit depleted.

With that in mind, the Phillies have recalled pitcher Jake Thompson from Triple A and optioned reliever Ricardo Pinto to Lehigh Valley.

After a lengthy rain delay cut short Vince Velasquez's start, the Phils' bullpen was charged with six innings of work in the 13-4 loss. Pinto, responsible for five of the runs, tossed 1 1/3 innings as play resumed in the fourth inning. 

He may not be down for long, though, as the Phils have an off day Thursday to recover.

Thompson seems like a peculiar choice to call up. He's struggled mightily this year in Lehigh Valley. The 23-year-old who came over in the Cole Hamels trade, is 4-11 with a 5.36 ERA. He's given up 107 hits in 94 innings pitched, as well as 36 walks on the year — one less than he gave up in 129 2/3 innings in 2016.

However, Thompson is already on the 40-man roster and has not pitched since going seven strong innings of two-run ball on July 20. 

Tonight's Lineup: Phillies showcasing Howie Kendrick in cleanup spot

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CSN

Tonight's Lineup: Phillies showcasing Howie Kendrick in cleanup spot

With less than a week to go before the trade deadline, the Phillies are putting Howie Kendrick in prime position to show off his skillset to a contender.

After sitting out last night's 14-3 loss, Kendrick returns to the lineup, batting cleanup and playing left field. In four games since returning from a hamstring injury, Kendrick has picked up where he left off, hitting .364 with two RBIs. Overall, Kendrick has appeared in just 37 games for the Phillies in 2017, but has been exceptional when healthy. 

Although he may not hit for power, his .350 batting average and ability to play multiple positions in the infield and outfield should be enough to interest teams. 

Cesar Hernandez will again lead off vs. the Astros. Much like Kendrick, Hernandez has had a strong return from the DL, hitting .321 with six RBIs in seven games since the All-Star break. He's also worked five walks compared to just three strikeouts. It's no surprise Hernandez's return has coincided with the Phillies' recent hot offensive stretch (see Game Notes)

Since the All-Star break, the Phillies have the seventh-most runs scored in all of baseball. Monday's loss ended a stretch of seven straight games of five or more runs scored for the Phillies — their longest single-season stretch since 2005.

Nick Williams will hit in the three-hole for the second straight game. Williams has sparked the Phils' stagnant offense since his arrival to the big leagues. In 20 MLB games, Williams is slashing .315/.350/.966 with four homers and 18 RBIs. 

Here is the Phillies lineup:
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Nick Williams, RF
4. Howie Kendrick, LF
5. Odubel Herrera, CF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Tommy Joseph, 1B
8. Cameron Rupp, C
9. Nick Pivetta, P