33 games in 31 days: Game #8: Cliff Lee throws his sixth complete game shutout of the season as the bats erupt for nine runs, as the Phils crush the Braves, 9-0.

Cliff Lee pitches his major league leading sixth complete game shutout, as the bats erupt for nine runs, as the Phils clobber the Braves, 9-0.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with the bases loaded, via singles by Placido Polanco and Chase Utley, sending Polanco on to third base, and a walk to Ryan Howard, moving Utley to second base, and with one man out, Hunter Pence hits a two-run single, knocking in both Polanco and Utley, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, while sending Howard up to second base. The Phils increased their lead in the fourth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Shane Victorino hits a two-run single, scoring John Mayberry, Jr., who had earlier walked, was safe at second on shortstop Alex Gonzalez’s force out attempt fielding error on Carlos Ruiz’s grounder, and went to third on Michael Martinez’s sacrifice bunt, 1-3, and Ruiz, who was safe at first on Gonzalez’s error, then went to second base on Martinez’s sac bunt, giving the Phils’ a 4-0 lead. The Phils then tried to make it a 5-0 lead as, with a man on second, after Victorino had stolen second base, Victorino stole third base, as Derek Lowe’s pitch got pass catcher Brian McCann. Victorino then tried to score, but is thrown out at the plate as McCann is able to get to the ball, and then throw it to Lowe, who tagged out Victorino at the plate for the inning’s third out. The Phils added to their lead in the fifth as, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Pence hits an RBI double, knocking in Utley, who had earlier tripled, giving the Phils a 5-0 lead, while sending Howard, who had earlier been intentionally walk, on to third base.  Two batters later, after Mayberry is intentionally walked to load the bases, Carlos Ruiz broke the game wide open with an RBI single, scoring Howard and Pence, making it a 7-0 Phils’ lead, while sending Mayberry on to second base. The Phils then made it an 8-0 lead in the seventh as Howard hits a lead-off home run, his thirty-first home run of the season. The Phils then took a 9-0 lead in the eighth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Polanco hits an RBI single, knocking in Lee, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second base on Victorino’s walk, while Victorino, who had just walked, would stop at second base. That would be the end of the scoring, as Lee came in to pitch the top of the ninth, pitching a 1-2-3 inning, as he recorded his sixth complete game shutout, as he threw a five hitter at the Braves.

Cliff Lee (16-7, 2.47) gets the win as he threw his sixth complete game shut out, giving up just five hits, while striking out six. Derek Lowe (9-13, 4.65) took the lost as he went just five innings, giving up seven runs, five of which were earned, on eight hits and four walks, while he struck out four. Scott Linebrink pitched an inning plus one batter, giving up a run on a hit. Peter Moylan pitched a scoreless inning, striking out a batter. Arodys Vizcaino pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk.

The Phils had eleven hits in the ballgame, with Placido Polanco (Singles, RBI), Chase Utley (Single, Triple), Ryan Howard (Single, Home Run, RBI) and Hunter Pence (Single, Double, 3 RBIs) all leading the team with two hits each. Shane Victorinio (2 RBIs), Carlos Ruiz (2 RBIs) and Cliff Lee  had the other three Phils’ hits, all singles.

The Phils (89-48, 1st) will continue their important series with the Braves (82-58, 2nd) weather permitting, with a game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and it is slated to start at 7:05 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Vance Worley (10-1, 2.85), who is coming off a win against the Reds on September 1, as he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 6-4 win. He will be out to put the Phils’ lead in the East once again at nine and a half games. The Braves will counter with Tim Hudson (14-8, 3.05), who is coming off a win against the Nationals on September 1, as he went six innings, giving up a run on five hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Braves’ 5-2 win. He will be out to even the series. The Phils will be out to place a stranglehold on first place in the East.

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