Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lee cruises in CG SO over Braves

What a way to start out a potentially big three-game series against Atlanta.

Cliff Lee extended him dominant August into September, and the bats kept producing as the Phils cruised to a 9-0 victory over Derek Lowe and the Braves.

Lee picked up his 16th win and sixth complete game shutout of the year. He allowed just five hits and no walks with six strikeouts. He's 6-0 with just two runs allowed over his last six starts. He eclipsed 200 strikeouts in a season for the first time in his career last night.

Hunter Pence drove in three runs, Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz each drove in two and Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard knocked in one.

Howard smacked his 31st homer of the season; a solo shot in the seventh.

Chase Utley, who's been struggling mightily, went 2-for-5 with a triple and two runs scored.

The Phils moved 8.5 games ahead of the second place Braves in the NL East. Only an Atlanta sweep would have put pressure on the Phils in the division, but they squashed that possibility early.

The Phillies would do well to keep sticking it to the Braves, to continue drilling it in their heads that they have Atlanta's number once the postseason rolls around.

Vance Worley (10-1, 2.85) takes the ball tonight against Tim Hudson (14-8, 3.05).

The Phillies have won each of Worley's last 13 starts. His September could be an audition for the playoff rotation, as he continues to make a strong case over Roy Oswalt, who has been inconsistent.

He's 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA in his last three starts. He hasn't allowed a run in six career innings against the Braves.

Hudson is 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA in his last three starts, and is 7-7 with a 3.65 ERA in his career against the Phils. In two starts against Philly this season, he's 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA.

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