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Lee, Pence, Mayberry Jr. Lead Phillies in Shutout of Giants

       
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Hunter Pence    Cliff Lee    John Mayberry, Jr.
Phillies starter Cliff Lee pitched another dominant complete game shutout, his MLB-leading 5th no-run game of the season, besting San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner in their duel of lefthanders.   Lee threw 106 pitches while spreading out 7 hits and walking none to win his 11th game of the season.  He struck out 7 and permitted 2 men to reach base in only the second and eighth innings.  The Phils threatened against Bumgarner in the first on 2 singles and a walk but came up empty.    But rightfielder Hunter Pence slammed Bumgarner’s 1st pitch of the second inning out to leftfield and leftfielder John Mayberry Jr. followed suit 4 pitches later with his dinger also to leftfield as the Phils took a2-0 lead.   Pence, who has at least 1 hit in each of his 6 games with the Phils, went 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs having singled in a ninth inning run for good measure as Lee, Pence and Mayberry Jr. led the Phillies in a 3-0 shutout of the Giants in the opener of their 4 game series.

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With the win, the Phils increased their NL East lead to 8  1/2 games over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves who were off on ThursdayThe Mets snuck back into 3rd place while also being off.   The 4th place  Florida Marlins dropped their game and dropped to 17 games back while last place Washington also lost and are 18 1/2 games back.

AP’s game recap for Yahoo sports notes:

Lee (11-7) was commanding in his first regular season start against the Giants in two years, striking out eight, including Cody Ross four times, and not walking a hitter. He set down 10 in a row at one point in his major league-leading fifth shutout this season.

“That’s probably the best game I’ve had as far as commanding the ball,” Lee said. “I was getting ahead of the hitters and staying away from the middle of the plate. I felt like I could throw any pitch at any time to any location.”

It was also some revenge for Lee, who lost twice to the Giants in last year’s World Series pitching for the Texas Rangers.

Pence had three hits and drove in two runs and is hitting .360 (9 for 25) since joining the Phillies.

“He has come in and fit in nicely,” Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard said. “He gives us energy and intensity. He’s been great for our team.”

Madison Bumgarner, a postseason hero for the Giants, recovered after allowing two long balls in a game for just the second time this year and the first since June 15.

Bumgarner (6-11) retired 13 of 14 following Mayberry’s blast. He went eight innings, allowing six hits, walking two and striking out nine.

“The game was all about pitching and good defense on both sides,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “After the two home runs Bumgarner was really good.”

The Phillies, who have won seven straight since losing two in a row to the Giants in Philadelphia, remain undefeated since acquiring Pence,

who homered in a Phillies uniform for the first time. Pence ended a 19-game, 67-at bat homerless drought when he connected on Bumgarner’s first pitch in the second inning.

“Any time you can pick up a player like Pence you’re going to be a better ball club,” Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy said. “He helps balance their lineup. They got the player they were looking for.”

Bumgarner allowed the first three Phillies to reach in the first, but Jimmy Rollins was thrown out trying to steal third by Chris Stewart and Howard lined into a 5-6 double play.

“Lee doesn’t need many runs as good as he is,” Bumgarner said. “That second inning cost me I guess. The way he was throwing he looked like he could throw about 14 innings out there.”

The Phillies never had more than one runner on in an inning the rest of the way.

Lee, who threw the 10th shutout of his career, made it all academic, needing just 74 pitches to get through the first seven innings and 106 overall. He sent the Giants to their sixth loss in seven games, slicing a half-game off their NL West lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks

For all of Thursday’s scores and recaps, click here.

In Friday’s game 2, young talented rookie Vance Worley goes for his 8th win opposed by lefthander Jonathan Sanchez for the Giants.  On Saturday, lefthander Cole Hamels goes for his 13th win vs Matt Cain in a rematch of their July 27th duel won by the Giants in Philadelphia.
For all of Friday’s and Saturday’s scheduled games throughout MLB, click here and here.

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