Phillies Lose Game, Wild Card Lead In Same Night

The Phillies patience with Brandon Duckworth may be wearing thin. It showed on the face of pitching coach Joe Kerrigan, who was wearing a path to the mound early in the first inning of Duckworth's latest struggle. Tuesday night, the lowly Milwaukee Brewers came to town and handed Duckworth and the Phillies a 6-3 loss, dropping the Phils 1/2 game behind the Florida Marlins, who beat Los Angeles 5-4.

Keith Osik capped a four-run first inning against Brandon Duckworth (4-7) with a three-run double and Wayne Franklin (8-9) snapped a three-game losing streak with 6 2/3 solid innings as the Milwaukee Brewers posted a 6-3 win over the Phillies.

Duckworth was tagged for six runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked six and threw just 55 of 106 pitches for strikes. The 27-year-old righthander has surrendered at least four runs in four of his last five starts and the team has dropped eight of his last eleven outings.

"He did a lot of things that weren't really on the plus side of the ledger tonight," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. "This has been an ongoing problem with our fifth starter for a long time."

Bowa then addressed Duckworth specifically. "He showed signs, a couple times, of coming out, having some decent games, and then reverts back like tonight," Bowa added. "But at this level, for what you're playing for, you have to have a better outing than that."

Richie Sexson got Milwaukee on the board with an RBI double and Osik made it 4-0 with a two-out double to left. Keith Ginter added a two-run double in the fifth for the Brewers, who won for just the second time in their last seven meetings with Philadelphia.

Franklin allowed three runs and four hits, walked three and struck out four. He won for the first time since July 22 and beat a team from the NL East for the first time in five decisions this season. The Brewers right-hander, who is from nearby Wilmington, Delaware, had a number of family and friends in the stands.

Luis Vizcaino got the final out in the seventh, Leo Estrella tossed a hitless eighth and Danny Kolb worked around a two-out double in the ninth to notch his seventh save.

Duckworth got ahead of leadoff hitter Eric Young, 0-2 but fired four straight balls. He fell behind rookie Scott Podsednik, who flied out to the warning track. He walked Geoff Jenkins and Sexson ripped a double down the left field line. John Vander Wal walked to load the bases and Duckworth fell behind Ginter 3-0 before getting him to fly out to shallow center field. Duckworth then got ahead of Osik 0-2 but lost the plate and grooved a 2-2 pitch that the Brewers' catcher ripped into the left field corner for a 4-0 lead. Duckworth threw 43 pitches in the inning.

"First inning I felt really strong," Duckworth said. "I started overthrowing my fastball and ended up walking guys. That kills you. Anytime you walk guys, (it) just gives them extra runners and generally they score."

Pat Burrell's RBI triple in the bottom of the frame got Philadelphia on the board and Placido Polanco's homer in the third sliced the Phillies' deficit to 4-2.

Ginter's bloop double in the sixth scored Jenkins and Vander Wal for a 6-2 lead.

Mike Lieberthal's RBI double in the seventh capped the scoring.


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