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Welcome back. Brewers 9, Phillies 6

An 8-run second inning dooms the Phils in their first game back since the All Star Break.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Milwaukee Brewers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that looked familiar.

The unofficial second half of the Phillies 2017 season started in much the same way the entire first half unfolded, with another ugly loss in a season that is piling them up like stacks of oily rags in a furnace room.

The Phillies lost to the Brewers in Milwaukee 9-6, done in by an eight-run second inning in which Orlando Arcia hit a three-run home run and Ryan Braun followed with a grand slam off Phils starter Nick Pivetta, who imploded after being staked to a 2-0 lead even before he stepped on the mound.

Pivetta managed to last five innings and gave up all nine runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and three walks and now has a 5.63 ERA on the season.

But even worse than the loss is the fact the team may be without their best hitter, Aaron Altherr, for a while. The team’s left fielder left the game after hitting a double with a hamstring strain. Early reports are that it’s a mild sprain, and Altherr said he’s now sure how long this will keep him out.

"I don't know how severe it is," Mackanin said. "If it's mild, it's a day or two. We won't know for sure until tomorrow." quotes via CSN Philly...

..."I felt something biting and felt like if I had ran harder, I'd make it worse," Altherr said. “Kind of shut it down a little bit, figured I shouldn't push it. I think it helped a little bit doing that. I felt a little tweak there with the hamstring. They wanted to play it safe and take me out.

"Right now, I'm pretty much day to day. We'll see what happens.”

Things were looking good early, with Maikel Franco and Nick Williams providing early RBIs. Franco had a particularly good game, going 4-for-5 (his second four-hit night of the season) with two doubles, and also made a couple of nice defensive plays at third base.

Odubel Herrera hit a two-run home run to get the Phillies to within three in the sixth inning, his second straight game with a bomb, but despite some baserunners late, the Phils failed to capitalize against a slew of Milwaukee relievers, all of whom appeared to throw nothing but 96-99 mph gas.

Braun continues to be a thorn in the Phils’ side. His dinger in the series opener was the 21st he’s hit in his career against the Phillies in just 61 games. He came into Friday batting .375/.412/.685 against Phils’ pitching in his career, and those 21 homers are tied for fifth-most against any opponent.

Dude, enough already.

Even after falling behind 8-2, the offense continued to get men on base. But going 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position generally doesn’t lead to a lot of runs crossing the plate, as evidenced by tonight’s fiasco. They struck out 12 times, with the rookie Williams accounting for four of those K’s.

As a result, the Phillies fell to 30 games under .500 once again (29-59).

Welcome back, everybody!