Cliff Lee pitched a complete game three-hit shut-out as the Phils beat the Nats, 4-0.

Cliff Lee threw a complete game three-hit shut out, as the Phils defeat the Nats, 4-0.

The game started as a pitchers’ duel between the Nats’ starter Jordan Zimmermann, who was throwing a no-hitter at the Phils thru five innings, as he struck out four batters, and Phils’ starter Cliff Lee, who was throwing a two-hitter, as he struck off five, while the defense kept the Nats off the board in the third as, with a man on third, and with one man out, Zimmermann hits a grounder to shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who then threw home to Carlos Ruiz to force out Danny Espinosa, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Jerry Hairston’s fly out to center, for the inning’s second out. The Phils then took the lead in the sixth as Ruiz broke up Zimmermann’s no-hit bid with a lead-off home run, his second home run of the season, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead. Four batters later, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Placido Polanco hits an infield single, before Shane Victorino, who had just doubled, scored on Hairston’s throwing error to first, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, as Polanco goes on to second base on the errant throw. The Phils added to their lead in the eighth as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Ruiz and Wilson Valdez, with Ruiz stopping at second base, and an Espinosa throwing error of a Lee grounder, allowing Ruiz to reach third, and Valdez to stop at second base, and with one man out, Polanco hits into an RBI force out, knocking in Ruiz, while Lee is thrown out at second base for the inning’s second out, to give the Phils a 3-0 lead, while Valdez would be safe at third base, as Polanco stopped at first. The Phils then made it a 4-0 lead as Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI single, finally knocking in his first RBI of the year, scoring Valdez, while sending Polanco on to second base. That would be the final score as Lee set down the Nats in the ninth for the complete game shut out.

Cliff Lee (2-1, 4.19) got the win as he pitched a complete game, the second by a Phils starter in as many games, as he gave up only three hits and a walk, while he struck out twelve. Jordan Zimmerman (1-2, 2.45) took the lost as he pitched seven innings plus three batters, giving up four runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits, while striking out four. Drew Storen, Doug Slaten and Brian Broderick pitched for two innings without giving up a run, giving up a hit (Storen), while striking out two batters (Storen and Slaten one batter each) between them. 

The Phils had only six hits in the game, with Carlos Ruiz leading the team with two hits, a single and a solo home run, knocking in a run. Shane Victorino (Double), Placido Polanco (Single, RBI), Jimmy Rollins (Single, RBI) and Wilson Valdez (Single) had the other four Phils’ hits. The other Phil run came in on a throwing error, as the offense capitalized on the few opportunities given to them by the Nats.

The Phils (9-3, 1st) now go back home to Citizens Bank Park for their second home stand to face the Marlins (7-5, 2nd). The game will be played later today at 7:05 pm EDT. Roy Oswalt (2-0, 2.25), who is coming off a strong start against the Braves on April 9, as he pitched six innings, giving up two runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits and two walks, while he struck out two, in the Phils’ 10-2 win. He will be trying for his third victory of the year, while trying to give the Phils their second three games winning streak. The fish will attempt to counter with Javier Vazquez (1-1, 8.64), who is coming off a win against the Astros on April 9, as he went six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks, while he struck out four in the Marlins’ 7-5 win. He will be trying to get the fish one game behind the Phils. The Phils will be going for their fifth straight series win, while hoping to start it off with a win in the opening game of the series for the first time since their series with the Astros.

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