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Lieber's perfect game spoiled in seventh as Phils win 2-0

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Philadelphia's Jon Lieber slowly came to realize Saturday night that he needed to be as close to perfect as possible to beat Dave Williams and the Cincinnati Reds.

Lieber was up to the task. Williams allowed just two hits in his first 6 2/3 innings, but Lieber took a perfect game into the seventh and gave up two hits in 8 2/3 innings to help the Phillies beat the Reds 2-0.

Lieber (3-4) didn't allow a walk and struck out six while throwing 110 pitches, 83 for strikes.

"I knew after the fourth or fifth inning that I couldn't afford to make a mistake," Lieber said. "When the other pitcher is pitching like that, you need to step up your game. It puts pressure on you."

The 36-year-old right-hander retired the first 20 batters he faced before Adam Dunn lined a single up the middle past shortstop Jimmy Rollins on an 0-1 pitch with two outs in the seventh inning. Lieber regrouped to get Austin Kearns to fly out to right fielder Chris Roberson in foul territory.

"We couldn't get anything going early," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "We haven't been able to for the last few games, and when you face a pitcher like Lieber, it's tough. He throws strikes."

The only other hit Lieber gave up was a two-out single to pinch-hitter Ken Griffey Jr. in the ninth inning. Tom Gordon got the final out for his 12th save in 13 opportunities to close out Lieber's third straight win.

"We were just talking about that," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "If he gets on a hot streak, he can reel off six or seven like that. He threw strikes and kept the ball down good. We wanted him to finish the game, but once Griffey got that hit, I knew it was time to get him."

"He threw so many strikes, and he kept it off our barrels," said Reds first baseman Scott Hatteberg, who went 0-for-3. "We were either early or late."

The Phillies have won 12 of their last 13 games and have handed the Reds their first back-to-back losses at home this season. The loss guaranteed Cincinnati its first losing series at home in seven series this season.

Williams almost matched Lieber pitch for pitch. He allowed a first-inning single up the middle by Shane Victorino and a fifth-inning single to left by Sal Fasano. They were the only two Phillies batters to reach base until center fielder Quinton McCracken dropped Ryan Howard's routine fly ball with two outs in the seventh inning for a two-base error. David Bell followed with a run-scoring double to right field.

"I didn't secure it, and it just popped out," McCracken said. "Unfortunately, it cost us a run there -- Murphy's Law of baseball."

"If we make a couple of plays, maybe it's 0-0 and we're still playing," Narron said. "In a close game, you have to make routine plays, and tonight, we didn't."

Williams (2-3) hit Chase Utley to lead off the ninth inning. Utley stole second, moved to third on Pat Burrell's single to right and scored on a wild pitch by reliever Todd Coffey.

Williams allowed five hits and no walks with five strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings, his longest outing of the season.

"(Lieber) was putting up zeros, and I was just trying to put up zeros, too," said Williams, who'd picked up both of his wins over his last four starts after losing his first two of the season.

"I think Lieber really overshadowed how well Williams threw," Hatteberg said.

Notes

  • Victorino's streak of hits in consecutive at bats ended at seven with a third-inning foul popup to C Jason LaRue. Victorino singled up the middle in the first. The Phillies club record is nine, held by three players.
  • Roberson's eighth-inning leadoff single was his first career hit.
  • RHP Julio Santana was placed on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his right elbow, and RHP Geoff Geary was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
  • RF Bobby Abreu was scratched from the original starting lineup with back spasms.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Jon Lieber carries a perfect game into the seventh before allowing a hit to Adam Dunn.  (AP)
Jon Lieber carries a perfect game into the seventh before allowing a hit to Adam Dunn. (AP)

Players of the Game
Philadelphia

J. Lieber
IP 8.2
H 2
ER 0
BB 0
K 6
Philadelphia

D. Bell
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS4000011 .250
Shane Victorino, CF4010001 .405
Chase Utley, 2B3100011 .308
Pat Burrell, LF4010001 .296
    David Dellucci, LF0000000 .214
Ryan Howard, 1B4100022 .291
David Bell, 3B4011000 .270
Sal Fasano, C4020001 .244
Chris Roberson, RF4010003 .250
Jon Lieber, P2000010 .000
    Tom Gordon, P0000000 .000
Totals332610510 
Batting
2B - David Bell (8, D. Williams)
SH - Jon Lieber (3)
RBI - David Bell (11)
2-OUT RBI - David Bell (5)
SB - Chase Utley (3, 2nd base off D. Williams/LaRue)
Team LOB - 6
Philadelphia Phillies
Jon Lieber (W,3-4) 8.2200060 5.50
Tom Gordon (S,12) 0.1100010 1.62
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lieber 110-83, Tom Gordon 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lieber 11-9
Batters Faced - Jon Lieber 28, Tom Gordon 2
Cincinnati Reds
Quinton McCracken, CF3000000 .200
   a- Ken Griffey Jr., PH1010000 .262
Felipe Lopez, SS4010000 .303
Adam Dunn, LF4010022 .228
Austin Kearns, RF3000011 .317
Scott Hatteberg, 1B3000000 .264
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B3000010 .285
Brandon Phillips, 2B3000000 .291
Jason LaRue, C3000020 .195
Dave Williams, P2000010 .091
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
   b- Javier Valentin, PH1000000 .246
Totals30030073 
a-singled for McCracken in the 9th
b-grounded out for Coffey in the 9th
Fielding
E - Quinton McCracken (1, misplayed flyball)
Cincinnati Reds
Dave Williams (L,2-3) 8.1521050 6.32
Todd Coffey 0.2100000 0.83
HBP - Utley (by Dave Williams)
WP - Dave Williams (1), Todd Coffey (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Dave Williams 90-60, Todd Coffey 8-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dave Williams 7-14, Todd Coffey 2-0
Batters Faced - Dave Williams 32, Todd Coffey 3
Game Information
Attendance - 32620
Game Time - 2:16
Temperature - 54
Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Kerwin Danley, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Jim Reynolds