Phillies, Taijuan Walker shoot for series win vs. Brewers

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Jul 5, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA;  Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Taijuan Walker (99) walks back to the dugout at the end of the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
Jul 5, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Taijuan Walker (99) walks back to the dugout at the end of the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
Image: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies will look for another series win when they host the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday afternoon

After taking three of four against the San Diego Padres coming out of the All-Star break, the Phillies will aim to win two of three against the Brewers


The Phillies captured the series opener 4-3 on Tuesday before losing 5-3 on Wednesday

Philadelphia's Nick Castellanos hit a solo home run and Kyle Schwarber stayed red hot with a two-run single in the loss. Schwarber has recorded an RBI in five straight games. He had homered in each of the previous four contests.


The Phillies went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left four on base Wednesday. To be fair, they hit several balls deep to the outfield

"We thought there were a couple home runs," Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. "That's the way it goes.

Brandon Marsh added two hits for the Phillies, his third multi-hit effort in his past four games

"We had them on the ropes," Marsh said. "We've got to finish the ninth inning."

The Phillies will hand the ball Thursday to right-hander Taijuan Walker (11-3, 4.00 ERA), who has won seven consecutive starts


Walker signed a four-year, $72 million deal in the offseason. After some rough early outings, he has proven to be one of the most reliable starters in the National League.

In Walker's latest start, against the Padres on Saturday, he allowed four hits and two runs in five innings.


Walker lost his lone career start against the Brewers when he gave up four runs on six hits in six-plus innings at Milwaukee last September while pitching for the New York Mets

Phillies designated hitter Bryce Harper, who hasn't played in the field this season, is close to doing so, but it likely won't be on Thursday, according to Thomson. Harper underwent Tommy John surgery in November


The Brewers, meanwhile, will look for the road series victory in the finale

In Milwaukee's win on Wednesday, William Contreras hit two doubles and a single and knocked in two runs. Blake Perkins added two hits, two runs and two RBIs, and Andruw Monasterio also had two hits.


The Brewers' bullpen also was outstanding as Hoby Milner, Elvis Peguero, Joel Payamps and Devin Williams combined to throw four scoreless innings

Williams earned his 24th save despite allowing two hits in the ninth inning. With runners on first and third and one out, Contreras threw out Bryson Stott trying to steal second base. Williams then struck out Alec Bohm to end the game.


"He made his impact felt in every part of the game," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Contreras. "He's been playing at a really high level.

Contreras has raised his average to .274 and proved his mettle on defense.

"This is his second (full) year in the league," Counsell said. "He's a young player. This is a hard position to contribute on both sides of the ball. We're lucky to have him."


Contreras added, "I'm very happy with my defense this year. It's a big change from last year."

Right-hander Corbin Burnes (8-5, 3.73 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Brewers on Thursday


In his most recent start, Burnes gave up two hits and two walks while striking out 13 in six scoreless innings against the Reds on Friday. Even more impressive was how he competed in the sweltering 90-plus degree conditions at Cincinnati.

"He was getting better as we gave him time," Counsell said. "To strike out the side in the sixth was impressive."


Burnes added, "The curveball was really good tonight."

Burnes is 0-1 with a 1.08 ERA in three career games (one start) against the Phillies


--Field Level Media