By Marissa Hatlen
Things were rolling downhill from the start for the Brewers Friday night, with Matt Garza giving up a two-run home run in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies. Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola had nine strikeouts in seven innings to hold the Brewers to one run on the night, and the Brewers lost their sixth straight game 6-1.
Heading into the All Star break, the Brewers had won 11 of their last 13 matchups, and they held the NL Central lead by 5 ½ games. Now, after two losses to the Phillies and a four-game sweep by the Pirates, the Brewers’ lead over the defending champion Cubs has shrunk to just one game. Milwaukee’s offense has sputtered recently, producing a total of just 12 runs over the last six games; with a challenging stretch ahead, the Brewers will need to pick up the pace to hang on to the lead they’ve held in the NL Central since May 26th. The Brewers play the Phillies again tonight in the second of a three-game series in Philadelphia.