Philly Sports Live

Late Surge Wins Series for Phils

The Phillie Phanatic celebrated another birthday at Citizens Bank Park this afternoon, bringing many fan favorites to the ballpark. The Saint Joe Hawk, Swoop and Harry Canary were just some of the characters who made the trip for the Phanatic’s big day.

One other fan favorite stepped out today in the person of Cliff Lee, who did his best to make sure the big green guy went home happy.

Lee got off to a rocky start in the first, when speedster Billy Hamilton and Chris Heisey both reached base to start the game. They promptly completed a double steal to reach second and third with no outs. Brandon Phillips would ground out to Jimmy Rollins at short to bring Hamilton home for an early 1-0 lead.

Two batters later, the hot-hitting Devin Mesoraco doubled down the line in left to bring Heisey around for a 2-0 lead. Mesoraco finished the series with five hits and four runs batted in. The lead would not last a half inning, however.

Jimmy Rollins led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run, his fourth of the year. Not to be outdone, catcher Wil Nieves followed with a solo shot of his own, tying the game 2-2.

Lee was in trouble in spots today, but was able to work around a few lead-off doubles. He helped his own cause in the fifth, with a lead-off single. He would reach second safely on a fielder’s choice hit by Rollins. Third baseman Todd Frazier could not handle the ball cleanly, and Lee beat the throw into second. After Nieves sacrificed the runners to second and third, Lee scored the go ahead run on an RBI ground out to first by Chase Utley for a 3-2 lead.

The Phils scored again in the fifth when Marlon Byrd took Reds’ starter Tony Cingrani deep to right field for his fifth home run of the year, a solo shot to make it 4-2 Phillies.

All told, Lee scattered nine hits in 6.2 innings today, allowing the two earned runs while striking out three, He lowered his season ERA to 3.18. He departed with a 4-2 that the bullpen would not relinquish.

His teammates broke it open in the seven inning, putting up a four spot all with two outs. After Rollins led off with a walk, Nieves and Utley both struck out. Ryan Howard then walked to put two on with two out. Byrd followed that with a single to center that brought Jimmy home for a 5-2 lead, his second RBI of the day.

Third baseman Cody Asche came through with another game changing hit today, this time lining one over the wall in right for a three run home run. That made it 8-2, clinching the series for the Fightins’.

Mike Adams went an inning and a third today, and did allow a run. Antonio Bastardo avoided a repeat of last Sunday’s debacle in New York, nailing the ninth inning down to complete victory, and earning Lee his fourth of the season.

After going scoreless for 23 straight innings, the Phillies have now scored 20 runs and clubbed 22 hits in their last 18. That, combined with solid outings from Lee and Hamels, equated to a much needed series win. The Phils are now 19-22, and are only 3.5 games out of first place surprisingly.

The Phillies play again this Tuesday when they travel to Miami to play the Marlins in division play. A.J. Burnett takes the mound against Anthony Desclafani for the Fish.

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Photo Courtesy of SportsIllustrated.CNN.Com