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Lee, 4 Homers Lead Phillies Past Arizona

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         RyanHowardPreps4Pitch1.jpg     Cliff Lee     Jayson Werth

Newly acquired ace Phillies lefthander Cliff Lee was once again awesome carrying a no-hit bid into the sixth inning.  And the numbers 2 through 6 of the Phillies lineup brought out their heavy lumber peppering Diamondbacks’ starter Dan Haren for 3 homers and reliever Juan Gutierrez for another.  Rightfielder Jayson Werth had a multi-homer game, his fifth inning shot to centerfield followed back-to-back behind 1st baseman Ryan Howard’s 3 run shot to left centerfield, his 5th dinger in 6 games as Lee and 4 Homers led the Phillies past Arizona by an 8-1 score in game 2 of their 3 game series.

With the win, the Phils upped their lead in the NL East division race over 2nd place Florida, who lost, to 5 1/2 games.  The Atlanta Braves remained 6 1/2 games back in 3rd place after pounding New York.  The Mets dropped to 13 1/2 games back in 4th place.

Phillies Nation’s Amanda Orr recaps another sterling performance by Cliff Lee and a Phillies offensive outburst:

All 45,356 rose to their feet anticipating the final out of Cliff Lee’s complete game. With the Phillies 8-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Lee has won seven consecutive games.

With Lee and Dan Haren on the mound, the game was expected to be a pitchers’ duel. Lee did his part, but the Phillies rocked Haren. Normally, the Diamondbacks play shaky defense, but all six runs that Haren allowed were earned.

After a couple missed opportunities in the first two innings, the Phillies got on the board in the third on Chase Utley’s two-run home run. With the homer, the Phillies now have four players with at least 25 home runs: Howard (31), Werth (27), [Raul] Ibanez (27), and Utley (25).

In the fourth inning, the Diamondbacks manufactured a run without a hit.  Ryan Roberts grounded to Pedro Feliz, but the ball went under his glove for a two-base error. Roberts moved to third on a grounder to the right side of the infield, and Stephen Drew’s sacrifice fly put the D-backs on the board. The perfect game and shutout ended, but Lee still had the no-hitter working.

For the second time in four starts, Lee took a no-hitter into the sixth inning.  Chad Tracy broke up the no-hit bid on a line drive up the middle.

The Indians did not provide Lee with much run support, but he received plenty tonight. Ryan Howard’s opposite field, three-run homer gave the Phillies a 5-1 lead. Before the Liberty Bell could stop ringing and the fans could sit down, Jayson Werth took the first pitch deep off the ivy in center field. Werth homered again in the seventh inning.

As he stepped into the batter’s box in the eighth, fans knew that Lee would be attempting the complete game. After a big hack on the first pitch, Lee dribbled a hit down the third base line. Mark Reynolds hoped it would roll foul, but Lee hustled out the single. It was his second hit of the night; the same amount of hits he allowed.

Lee struck out 11 batters, tying a career high. He improved to 4-0 and lowered his ERA to 0.82 with the Phillies. His complete game is his second with the Phillies, and fifth of the season. The only run he allowed was unearned, and he did not walk a batter. Lee has gone at least seven innings in each… of his starts with the Phillies.

Lee’s line for the game was 106 pitches, 1 run, 2 hits, no walks and 11 strikeouts. His era is 0.82 with the Phillies and 2.86 overall.  And get this stat; Phillies pitchers have not walked a batter in eighteen innings and have not allowed a homer in 17 innings.

Haren went five innings throwing 90 pitches and allowing 6 runs on 9 hits while walking 1 and striking out 6.  The Arizona bullpen gave up 2 runs on 4 hits over the final three innings.

AP Sports Writer Rob Maaddi reports for Yahoo sports:

Werth has seven career multihomer games, including two this season. 

The only negatives on this game; Howard struck out 2 more times, as his strikeout count continues to rise, and Raul Ibanez struck out 3 times, he’s struck out 15 in his last 9 games.

For the scores of all of Wednesday’s games, click here.

The Phils go after a sweep of Arizona in Thursday’s series final as Joe Blanton is opposed by lefthander Doug Davis for the D-backs.

After the Phils close out their brief homestand with the final against Arizona, they head to New York for a 4 game series on Friday through Monday with the Mets who could wash away their season totally by falling further behind the Phillies.

For all of Thursday’s games, click here.

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