The Philadelphia Phillies have climbed above .500 for the first time this season.
Their rise could continue with Cliff Lee getting the ball next.
Lee goes for his first four-start winning streak in two seasons Friday night in his second matchup with the lowly Milwaukee Brewers in less than a week.
After failing twice in April, the Phillies (31-30) finally moved over the break-even point on Thursday, extending their season-high winning streak to five with a 5-1 victory over Milwaukee (22-37).
Philadelphia has 32 runs in that span."We're happy that some hard work is starting to pay off," said Michael Young , who went 3 for 4 in the opener of the Phillies' 10-game trip. "We're starting to see it in the standings."
The Phillies, 6 1/2 back of NL East-leading Atlanta, go for a fourth straight win in Milwaukee with Lee (7-2, 2.45 ERA) getting another look at the Brewers. He struck out a season-best 11 in 7 2-3 innings of Sunday's 7-5 victory over Milwaukee.
The former AL Cy Young winner allowed three runs before his outing was cut short due to cramping throughout his body."I was a little dehydrated or something," the left-hander, 5-0 with a 1.54 ERA in his last six outings, said after preventing the Brewers from their first series sweep in Philadelphia. "I wanted to stay in the game and keep pitching but at the same time, I want to be smart."
Lee last won four consecutive starts during a seven-start stretch from Aug. 4-Sept. 5, 2011. That run ended five days later when he failed to record a decision in a 3-2, 10-inning victory at Milwaukee.
Lee is 0-1 with a 4.79 ERA in three starts at Miller Park, but those numbers could improve given the Brewers' 4-15 slide at home.
Milwaukee, a season-worst 15 games below .500, will try to even this series with Alfredo Figaro (0-0, 3.67) making his second start and 18th appearance of the season. The right-hander is replacing Marco Estrada (strained left hamstring) in the rotation.
"When (Figaro has) come in, he's done a pretty good job for us, and he's stretched out to a point," manager Ron Roenicke told the Brewers' official website. "Nobody in Triple-A is lighting it up to where we're saying, 'Let's bring him up.'"
Figaro, though, might not be in the rotation long with Chris Narveson (sprained finger) likely to return soon.
Figaro will face the Phillies for the second time, the first coming Sunday when he struck out two in 3 1-3 innings of shutout relief.
Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun , who finished 1 for 2 with two walks in the series opener after missing Wednesday's 6-1 loss to Oakland with a nagging thumb injury, is a career .379 hitter against the Phillies. It's his best average against any NL team.
Braun's .474 batting average (9 for 19) against Lee is the highest among any batter who's face the left-hander at least 19 times. Three of those nine hits have left the park.
Phillies left fielder Domonic Brown , the NL leader with 18 homers, went 2 for 3 on Thursday and is 9 for 19 with three home runs and eight RBIs during the club's longest undefeated stretch since a seven-game surge Sept. 5-12.
|May 22, 2013||Chase Utley||Day-to-Day||Sore Ribcage|
|May 21, 2013||Chase Utley||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|May 20, 2013||Ryan Howard||Day-to-Day||Sore left knee|
|May 20, 2013||Carlos Ruiz||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|May 19, 2013||Carlos Ruiz||Day-to-Day||Strained right hamstring|
|May 11, 2013||Mike Adams||15-Day DL||Right back strain|
|June 04, 2013||Marco Estrada||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|May 25, 2013||Jim Henderson||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|May 22, 2013||Hiram Burgos||15-Day DL||Right shoulder impingement|
|May 08, 2013||Tom Gorzelanny||15-Day DL||Left shoulder tendinitis|
|May 08, 2013||Tom Gorzelanny||15-Day DL||Left shoulder tendinitis|
|April 28, 2013||Jean Segura||Day-to-Day||Right index finger|
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Aramis Ramirez is hoping one hit can turn around Milwaukee's struggling season.
Ramirez hit an RBI single with one out in the ninth inning, giving the Brewers a 5-4 victory over the Phillies on Friday night that ended Philadelphia's five-game winning streak.
"We know we are better than we have played so far this season," said Ramirez, who missed 23 games earlier this season with a knee sprain. "I hoping this can be a springboard to get us to start playing better."
The win was just Milwaukee's fourth in the last 11 games and the team is still 14 games below .500.
Jean Segura started the winning rally by beating out a grounder to short for an infield single off Jeremy Horst (0-2). Ryan Braun singled and Segura advanced to third base. Ramirez then lined the second pitch he saw to left field to drive in the winning run.
Ramirez said the win was more impressive because Milwaukee fought back from 4-0 deficit against Phillies ace Cliff Lee .
"Anytime you can come back and get a win against one of the best pitchers in baseball, it is a good thing," he said. "We hung around and got some hits and made it a game. That is not an easy thing to do against a pitcher like Lee."
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was pleased that he got a good outing from starting pitcher Alfredo Figaro , who started in place of the injured Marco Estrado. He went 5 1-3 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits.
"He did well," Roenicke said. "He's got good stuff and he did give us length tonight."
Reliever Francisco Rodriguez (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth inning for Milwaukee.
Roenicke also had a lot of praise for shortstop Segura, who used his speed to leg out a triple in the seventh inning and scored the tying run on an error. He also beat out an infield hit to start the ninth inning winning rally.
Segura has 19 infield hits on the season, tops in the Major Leagues.
"He really continues to play well," Roenicke said of Segura, who is hitting .339 on the season. "He's an exciting player."
Lee allowed four runs and eight hits in seven innings for the Phillies, who fell back to .500. Lee struck out eight. Lee gave up at least one hit in six of the seven innings he pitched.
Lee said he felt good on the mound, despite giving up the high number of hits.
"They've got a good offense, there's no way around it, "he said. "We had a four-nothing lead. I'm still not very happy about giving that up. But like I say, they've got a good offense and they kept grinding and pulled it out."
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he felt very confident with a 4-0 lead and Lee on the mound.
"I felt like when we scored the four runs on them, I thought he could hold that. He usually does," Manuel said.
Philadelphia grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning. John Mayberry Jr. doubled to left field and scored on a single by Jimmy Rollins .
The Phillies added three more runs in the fourth inning. Hot hitting Dominic Brown doubled to the right field corner and scored on a single by Delmon Young . Erik Kratz then lined his eighth home run of the season to make the score 4-0.
Milwaukee finally got to Lee in the fourth inning, scoring two runs. Yuniesky Betancout's RBI double that Brown got his glove on but could not hold on to scored the first run. Figaro knocked in the second run with a groundout.
The Brewers tied it 4-all in the seventh inning. Norichika Aoki led off the inning with a walk. He scored when Segura lined a triple into the right field corner. Segura scored when Freddy Galvis ' relay throw got away from Kratz.
NOTES: Aoki has struck out just 12 times in 263 plate appearances this season, the best ratio in the major leagues. He has gone 59 plate appearances without striking out, the longest streak by a Brewers player since Brady Clark went 60 appearances in 2005. ... Phillies 2B Chase Utley said Friday he believes he can rejoin the team by the middle of June. Utley has been on the disabled list since May 21 with a strained right oblique. ... Brewers reliever Tom Gorzelanny (1-0) will make his first start of the season Saturday against the Phillies' Kyle Kendrick (6-3).