MILWAUKEE (AP) — Sitting near the dugout railing after a strong outing, Matt Garza could only watch helplessly as his shutout evaporated.
A seven-run outburst in the eighth inning by the Philadelphia Phillies led to a 9-1 loss for the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday. It was hard to believe that Garza had a no-hitter going into the seventh.
Instead, the Brewers got swept in four games by the last-place team in the NL East. Milwaukee has lost five straight and nine of 10 heading into an important series this weekend with the St. Louis Cardinals.
With the offense dormant and the bullpen struggling, manager Ron Roenicke is looking for answers.
"The longer it keeps going, the worse things go for us, it gets a little tougher," he said. "We'll come back tomorrow, talk about some things and see if we can get this turned around."
By Thursday night, the Brewers had already made one change after announcing that top pitching prospect Jimmy Nelson would be recalled from Triple-A Nashville to start Saturday's game against the Cardinals. Nelson, who is 10-2 with a 1.46 ERA in the minors, would take the rotation spot of Marco Estrada, who was bumped to the bullpen after allowing a league-leading 27 homers in 18 starts.
Garza has been much better. Yet the Brewers couldn't capitalize Thursday with their bats in a slumber.
Jimmy Rollins broke up Garza's no-hit bid with a single in the seventh before sparking a seven-run outburst an inning later with a two-out, two-run single off once-lights out reliever Will Smith.
Garza (6-6) had just been pulled from the game to a standing ovation but instead got tagged with a tough-luck loss.
"It happens, man. My job is to not get guys on base. You leave two guys on, especially two guys with speed, and you pay for it," Garza said. "But it is what it is. You turn the page. We can't dwell on it too long."
The Phillies sent 12 batters to the plate in the eighth and got RBI ground-rule doubles from Ryan Howard and Cody Asche. Rookie David Buchanan (5-5) struck out five in seven innings for the win.
Carlos Gomez scored the Brewers' only run with a solo shot to left-center to lead off the sixth for his 14th homer and a 1-0 lead with Garza' no-hit bid still intact.
It ended quickly after Rollins led off the seventh with a hard chopper past diving first baseman Mark Reynolds for a single into right.