MILWAUKEE -- Jose Contreras earned his first save in a career that spans 22 years in Cuba and the majors. The 38-year-old starter-turned-reliever will get the opportunity to stay in the closer role for a while.
"There's a lot of adrenaline in that moment," Contreras said through a translator -- fellow reliever Danys Baez.
After the game, the Phillies placed closer Brad Lidge on the 15-day disabled list with his right elbow still not feeling right. Contreras took over the role when setup man Ryan Madson kicked a chair and needed toe surgery.
In the ninth, reliever David Herndon allowed an RBI double to Corey Hart to make it 10-6 and left with runners on second and third. Contreras walked pinch-hitter George Kottaras with one out to load the bases before striking out Rickie Weeks and Craig Counsell to end it.
"Twenty-two years starting games, and now my career is closing games," Contreras said. "It was a tough situation at that moment, but I was able to save the game. That's the most important thing."
Lidge said he'd either get more rest for his arm, a cortisone shot or a shot to help lubricate the joint next week. He expects the swelling to subside and said he's still upbeat after an MRI this week showed no structural damage.
"This is something that apparently can happen on the recovery back," Lidge said. "When it goes away, which hopefully it will with whatever we treat it with, it should go away."
Staked to a 9-2 lead after Victorino's two-run homer in the sixth inning and Philadelphia's five runs off reliever Claudio Vargas in the seventh, Joe Blanton (1-2) and the Phillies' bullpen made it interesting.
"It's frustrating. We keep looking up and keep getting reminded obviously of how bad we are at home right now," Hart said. "You want to get out there and get early leads and try to get something going. It's been hard for us to get anything going lately."
The Brewers are off to their worst start at Miller Park after equaling their 1985 mark at County Stadium. They've lost five in a row overall, and seven straight at home for the first time in eight years.
Milwaukee manager Ken Macha said after the game he spoke with his players in what was essentially a pep talk.
"I don't want them to get discouraged," Macha said. "The guys are battling and giving it all they got. We're going to work our way out of this. ... We're going through a rough patch here. The only thing to do is fight our way out of it."
The NL East-leading Phillies improved to 12-7 on the road, tops in the NL.
Victorino's shot in the sixth off starter Chris Narveson (3-1) just cleared the left-field wall to give Philadelphia a 4-1 lead. The Phillies roughed up Vargas for five more runs in the seventh, including third-string catcher Paul Hoover's two-run double as Philadelphia took a 9-2 lead.
Blanton was sharp through six innings in his third start since opening the season on the disabled list with an oblique strain, but gave up a three-run homer to Hart to make it 9-5 in the seventh and didn't return for the eighth.
Victorino sparked the Phillies in the second with an RBI single, and Chase Utley followed two batters later with two on and two outs by hitting a deep fly to the right-field wall.
The ball caromed directly at Hart's left foot and then bounced over the wall. Umpires ruled it a ground-rule double for Utley that made it 2-0.
"It was either a kick save or a weird angle," said Hart, who couldn't tell if he'd kicked it or not. "It saved us a run so I was excited about it."
Narveson threw 130 pitches, tops in the majors this season, and still couldn't get through six innings. ... Brewers CF Jim Edmonds (left oblique) came out before the start of the fourth inning. He was replaced by Jody Gerut, who made a diving catch in the seventh. ... Phillies C Carlos Ruiz (right knee) is only available in an emergency this series. ... The Brewers optioned OF Adam Stern to Triple-A Nashville and replaced him with RHP John Axford, who gave up a run in the eighth. ... Packers rookie OL Bryan Bulaga hit 14 homers in batting practice.