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Phillies close in with sweep

Magic number trimmed to two

Associated Press / September 16, 2011

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Ryan Howard hit an RBI double in the 10th inning soon after Cliff Lee fell one strike short of his seventh shutout, and the Phillies beat the Florida Marlins, 2-1, to sweep a day-night doubleheader yesterday in Philadelphia.

The Phillies, who won the opener, 3-1, reduced their magic number for clinching a fifth straight NL East title to two.

Jose Lopez spoiled Lee’s shutout bid when he hit a tying home run on an 0-and-2 pitch in the ninth.

Lee struck out 12 and allowed five hits in nine innings, failing to earn his 17th win.

John Mayberry Jr. gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead when he lined a homer just inside the left-field foul pole in the sixth. It seemed that would be enough for Lee, who now has fallen one out shy of a shutout in two of his last four starts.

Michael Schwimer (1-0) tossed a scoreless 10th for his first career win.

Michael Martinez walked to lead off the 10th against Burke Badenhop (2-2). Howard then lined a 3-and-1 pitch deep to left-center and the speedy Martinez scored easily.

In the opener, Kyle Kendrick threw five sharp innings for the Phillies.

Kendrick (8-6) didn’t allow a hit until Logan Morrison homered to lead off the fifth. He gave up one run and one hit, striking out six.

Lee, the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner, lowered his ERA to 2.38. His latest gem came a day after Roy Halladay beat Houston, 1-0. Halladay, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, Lee, and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw are the top three candidates for the award this season.

Alex Sanabia allowed one run and six hits in six innings in Game 2. Anibal Sanchez (8-8) pitched six strong innings but was the hard-luck loser in the opener. He gave up two runs and four hits, striking out seven.

Athletics 6, Tigers 1 - David DeJesus hit a three-run homer in the first, Brandon McCarthy pitched seven strong innings, and host Oakland snapped Detroit’s 12-game winning streak, delaying the Tigers’ chance to clinch the AL Central title.

Delmon Young hit a home run for the Tigers, who still saw their magic number drop to one when Cleveland fell to Texas earlier in the evening. The Tigers need any combination of a win or a Cleveland loss over the final 12 games to clinch the division.

McCarthy (9-8) allowed one run on five hits to improve to 3-2 with a 2.15 ERA over his last five starts. He walked two and struck out eight.

Nationals 10, Mets 1 - Ian Desmond had a career-high five hits and Tommy Milone earned his first major league win, leading visiting Washington to a rare four-game sweep.

Desmond drove in three late runs from his leadoff spot and Ryan Zimmerman had two RBIs for the Nationals, who won their fifth straight overall and moved past the Mets into third place in the NL East. The franchise has not finished third or higher since 2002, when it played in Montreal and ended the season in second place.

Making his third major league start, Milone (1-0) allowed one run and three hits in 5 2/3 innings. He became the second consecutive Nationals rookie starter to notch his first career victory, following Brad Peacock’s 2-0 win over New York Wednesday night.

Giants 8, Rockies 5 - Pablo Sandoval tripled in the sixth inning to complete the first cycle of his career and San Francisco beat Colorado in Denver to keep its slim postseason hopes alive.

Ryan Vogelsong pitched effectively into the sixth inning and had two hits, and Brandon Belt homered for San Francisco. The Giants have won five straight and prevented Arizona from moving closer to clinching the NL West. The Diamondbacks lead the Giants by seven games with 12 to play.

Sandoval homered in the first, doubled in the second, and singled in the fifth. In the sixth, he hit a fly ball to the base of the wall in right-center field and beat the throw to third for the triple to complete the cycle.

Rangers 7, Indians 4 - Michael Young hit a three-run double to go over 100 RBIs for the second time in his career and AL West-leading Texas completed a three-game series sweep of Cleveland in Arlington, Texas.

Cleveland’s loss cut Detroit’s magic number for clinching the AL Central to one.

Josh Hamilton homered for the third straight game and Adrian Beltre also homered in extending his career-best hitting streak to 19 games.

Pirates 6, Dodgers 2 - Ross Ohlendorf got his first win of the season in seven starts and hit a three-run homer to help Pittsburgh beat host Los Angeles, which mathematically eliminated the bankrupt franchise from the NL West race.

Ohlendorf (1-2) allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings, struck out six and walked none. It was the righthander’s fifth start since rejoining the team on Aug. 23 after a stint on the disabled list with right shoulder discomfort.

Reds 8, Cubs 6 - Jay Bruce hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning that lifted host Cincinnati over Chicago.

Joey Votto led off the 11th against James Russell (1-6) with a double to left-center field. Bruce connected on the next pitch for his 31st homer of the season, giving the Reds their third straight win over Chicago after losing the opener of the four-game series.

Royals 7, White Sox 2 - Melky Cabrera had four hits, including a home run, and Billy Butler hit a three-run homer to lead Kansas City over visiting Chicago, which was eliminated from playoff contention.

Cabrera’s four-hit game matched a career high and his double in the sixth was his 40th as an outfielder.

Luis Rodriguez led off the bottom of the 12th inning with a solo homer off Cory Wade, and the Mariners delayed Mariano Rivera’s chase for the saves record with a 2-1 win over the Yankees Wednesday night in Seattle.

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