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MIL@PHI: Lucroy crushes his first homer of 2011

PHILADELPHIA -- If Chris Narveson and Brandon Kintzler could each pull back one of their pitches, the Brewers would have done something they've never done before: Sweep a series in Philadelphia.

But this is the Major Leagues, and you can't call "Do over!" just because a player from the other team hit one out. So the game-tying three-run home run that spoiled Narveson's otherwise outstanding start stood up, though Narveson considered his sixth-inning offering to Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco a good pitch. And so did the go-ahead blast in the eighth inning off Kintzler in relief, a solo home run by center fielder Shane Victorino on a down-the-middle fastball.

The Brewers were denied their sweep Wednesday in 4-3 loss on a sunny getaway day at Citizens Bank Park.

"For the most part, I felt like I commanded the game," Narveson said. "It's unfortunate that it ended up the way it did."

The Brewers still took two of three games from the Phillies after being swept in the previous three games in Washington and settled for a 4-4 road trip. They head back to Miller Park with a 9-9 record for a week of National League Central games against the Astros and Reds.

The Brewers will have to wait until 2012 to go for their first road sweep of the Phillies. Since joining the NL in 1998, Milwaukee is 15-32 in the City of Brotherly Love. That's including their wins on Monday and Tuesday.

"I'm happy with the road trip," manager Ron Roenicke said. "When you get swept by a team, you're never happy about it, and I don't care whether it's the Nationals or whoever, but we bounced back against a great team."

On Wednesday, Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder delivered RBIs in the first and third innings and catcher Jonathan Lucroy hit his first home run of the season in the fourth as the Brewers put some early runs on the board against Phillies starter Cliff Lee. The offense backed Narveson, who didn't allow his first hit until there were two outs in the fifth inning.

Narveson worked the first five innings on 53 pitches without allowing a run, then ran into major trouble in a 31-pitch sixth that began with a walk and included Polanco's three-run home run to tie the game at 3.

Right before that blow, the Phillies caught a break when Victorino reached on an infield single that barely rolled to the outfield. Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks was shaded to the middle of the field, and took a few more steps when Wilson Valdez broke from first base on an apparent hit and run. Victorino dribbled his single to where the second baseman would usually stand.

That put two runners on base for Polanco, who hit a cut fastball that was down, inside and very similar to the one he had swung over two pitches earlier.

"He didn't put a good swing on it at all," Lucroy said. "We wanted to throw it again. Hindsight's always 20/20. You want to go back and change it, [but] it was a good pitch; it was down, it was in. It might have even been a ball if he hadn't swung at it. He's a good hitter, and he just put a good swing on it. He got the head on it and golfed it out of there."

Said Narveson: "I went back and looked at it. Lucroy probably would have caught it eight to 10 inches 'in.' You have to tip your cap, because it was a quality pitch and he did a good job of hitting it. When he hit it, I didn't think he hit it that great, and then you turn around and see that you're in Philadelphia and where the left-field fence is. Next thing you know, it's a 3-3 game."

Kintzler took over in the seventh and struck out the side on 12 pitches, but Philadelphia leadoff man Victorino got to him leading off the eighth. Victorino hit a 2-and-1 fastball to the right-center field for the Phillies' first lead since the third inning of the series opener.

"He had just beat me with a fastball in, and I told myself I wasn't going to let him do it a second time," Victorino said. "I was looking for a fastball in, and I got it."

The Brewers who showed up in Philadelphia looked nothing like the group swept in three games at Washington over the weekend. The batters tallied 34 hits, the starting pitchers did not allow an earned run in their first 17 innings before Narveson's tough sixth, and after a two-error opener, the defense was mostly sparkling.

The highlight Wednesday was Casey McGehee's backhanded stab to start a 5-4-3 double play after the Phillies logged their first baserunner in the fourth inning, though center fielder Carlos Gomez capped a terrific series in the field with another running catch in the first inning and Weeks made a leaping grab to end the fifth.

While Narveson cruised, Lee ran into trouble early. He had allowed only one first-inning hit in his first three starts this season, but surrendered three singles in a row to Gomez, Ryan Braun and Fielder for a 1-0 Brewers lead, and Fielder drove in another run in the third with a double when Braun ran right through third-base coach Ed Sedar's stop sign.

Lucroy, making his fifth start off a season-opening stint on the disabled list, made it 3-0 in the fourth inning with a two-out home run on a down-and-in cutter similar to the one Polanco hit from Narveson. It was Lucroy's first home run this season and the fifth of his career.

Coming off a three-hit shutout of the Nationals in his last start, Lee was charged with three runs (two earned) on eight hits in six innings. A day earlier, the Brewers touched Roy Halladay for seven runs.

"We had some really good [at-bats] against two of the toughest pitchers in baseball the last two days," Lucroy said. "We strung together some at-bats today. I felt good personally against Cliff." Comments