The Milwaukee Brewers are finally in a groove. Playing the Philadelphia Phillies certainly helps.
Adam Lind homered, Scooter Gennett doubled twice, tripled and drove in three runs and the hot-hitting Brewers jumped on Philadelphia starter Aaron Harang on their way to a 9-5 victory on Wednesday night.
Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez each doubled and had two RBIs for Milwaukee, which has won a season-high four straight. Gerardo Parra and Kyle Lohse had three hits apiece for the Brewers, who had a season-high 17 hits.
"We've got some confident hitters right now," Brewers manager Craig Counsell. "The guys are really swinging the bats."
Maikel Franco had a three doubles and two RBIs for Philadelphia, which lost its sixth in the last seven to fall to 27-53. The Phillies have the worst record in baseball.
Lohse (5-9) allowed four runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and two walks.
"He was really sharp, then he ran out of gas a little bit," Counsell said.
Harang (4-11) lost his eighth straight game in his worst outing of the season. Harang gave up eight runs on a career-high 14 hits in five-plus innings, becoming the first Phillies pitcher since Jim Nash in 1972 to lose eight in a row. Harang has a 6.94 ERA during his losing streak.
"They swung at everything I threw up there," Harang said. "It's one of those baffling games where you don't really know what's going on."
Harang said the Brewers took advantage of his tendency to throw strikes.
"They know I'm going to be around the plate and sometimes that can be a definite downfall," Harang said. "I don't feel like (command) has been as sharp. Guys are making adjustments and maybe I'm catching too much of the plate."
Lind continued his success against Harang, putting Milwaukee up 2-0 with a two-run shot to right in the first inning. It was the third home run in four at-bats against Harang for Lind, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
Ramirez's two-run double in the third and Braun's two-run double in the fourth staked Lohse to a 6-0 lead.
"I feel pretty good at the plate," said Ramirez, who has seven RBIs in the last three games. "I'm using the whole field and hitting some good pitches."
The Phillies got a pair of runs back in the bottom of the frame on RBI singles by Odubel Herrera and Freddy Galvis.
But the Brewers opened the sixth with three straight hits off Harang, the last a two-run double by Gennett that ended the Harang's night.
"I know (Harang) is much better than that," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "I'd like to see him get back on track and I have a good feeling he will. Normally it boils down to command of your stuff. When you don't hit your spots, you can get burned, especially against an aggressive-hitting club."
The last time the Brewers won four games in a row overall was last Aug. 14-19 when they captured five straight.
FEELING AT HOME
Milwaukee won its sixth consecutive game at Citizens Bank Park and is 8-1 in its last nine games there. The Brewers have scored 20 runs on 43 hits with 10 doubles in winning the first three games of the four-game series.
Phillies pitchers have allowed 774 hits this season, the most in the majors.
Brewers: OF Khris Davis (knee) went 0-for-3 with a walk in the first game of a rehab assignment at Single-A Wisconsin on Wednesday night. Davis has been on the DL since May 31 after tearing the meniscus in his right knee.
Phillies: General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said before the game that 2B Chase Utley could begin a rehab assignment after the All-Star break. Utley, on the DL since June 23 with right ankle inflammation, will continue to rehab with the Phillies until the break.
Brewers RHP Matt Garza (4-10, 5.52) opposes RHP Chad Billingsley (0-2, 6.75) in the finale of the four-game series on Thursday night. Garza has an 8.50 ERA while losing his last three starts but is 2-2 with a 1.86 ERA in seven career starts against the Phillies.
Billingsley will be making his first start since going on the DL on May 17 with a right shoulder strain. After missing most of the last two seasons due to shoulder surgeries, Billingsley made three starts for Philadelphia earlier this season before going back on the DL.