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Phils trim Brewers' wild-card lead to three behind Howard, Moyer

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- Jamie Moyer can rest his arm when he retires. For now, the old man is doing whatever it takes to extend the Philadelphia Phillies' season.

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Moyer pitched 5 2/3 effective innings on three days' rest, Ryan Howard hit his major league-leading 43rd homer and the Phillies beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 Thursday night to gain ground in the playoff race.

"He's been consistent all year," manager Charlie Manuel said of Moyer, the oldest player in the majors. "Goes to show you the old man can still pitch."

The Phillies pulled within three games of the NL East-leading Mets and the wild card-leading Brewers by roughing up Ben Sheets (13-8). They remain four behind New York in the loss column.

Moyer (14-7) allowed three runs and four hits, improving to 7-1 in his last 13 starts. The 45-year-old left-hander moved ahead of Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for 52nd on the career list with 244 wins.

Pitching on short rest for the first time since 2004, Moyer kept the Brewers off balance with his usual assortment of batting practice-speed fastballs and even slower stuff. He left after Prince Fielder's two-run drive made it 4-3.

"As I got deeper, I think I got a little tired a little quicker," Moyer said. "I'm here, I'm healthy. Sometimes you have to step up."

Fielder's homer was his first since Aug. 13, but slumping Milwaukee lost for the eighth time in 11 games.

"This series has no more importance or value than the last series, but every day is important, every game is important," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "It's must-win, that must be your mind-set in September."

Ryan Madson pitched two innings, Chad Durbin threw one pitch to retire the only batter he faced with two on in the eighth and Brad Lidge finished for his 36th save in as many chances.

But it was Moyer who gave the ailing Phillies a big lift by taking the mound and making sure they played with a lead.

"Jamie did a great job," Howard said. "Anything is possible with him."

Sheets entered with a 20-inning scoreless streak, but couldn't extend it. The All-Star right-hander yielded five runs and nine hits in six innings.

"We've got to win some games," Sheets said. "I got a good vibe when the game ended. I know we didn't win, but I feel better today."

Howard connected in the first to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. He launched a first-pitch fastball into the bushes beyond the center-field wall for his fourth homer in six games.

"I have to produce runs," Howard said. "Whatever I can do to get the team going and provide a spark, I try to do."

J.J. Hardy sliced the lead in half with a two-out homer in the third, but the Phillies answered with two runs in the fourth.

Howard nearly hit another two-run shot, settling for an RBI double when his drive to center bounced off the top of the wall. It was his major league-leading 129th RBI. Pedro Feliz lined a two-out double just over right fielder Corey Hart's head to make it 4-1.

Fielder had gone 67 at-bats without a homer before going deep in the sixth.

Carlos Ruiz had an RBI double in the bottom half to give Philadelphia a two-run cushion. His eighth-inning suicide squeeze, a rarity for the Phillies, provided the final margin.

"I figured I might as well start trying to be a National League manager," Manuel joked. "I heard Ruiz as he was going up the steps ask somebody what the squeeze sign was. I figured he wants to squeeze, so I let him do it."

Notes

  • No non-knuckleball-throwing pitcher 45 years or older has won more games in a season than Moyer. He improved to 6-3 in 15 career starts on three days' rest.
  • Howard is batting .417 (10-for-24) with 10 RBI during a six-game hitting streak.
  • The Phillies haven't named a starter for Sunday, though Brett Myers is more than willing to pitch on three days' rest.
  • The Brewers fell to 31-18 against left-handed starters.
 
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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Jamie Moyer, 45, passes Juan Marichal for 52nd on the major league career wins list with No. 244.  (AP)
Jamie Moyer, 45, passes Juan Marichal for 52nd on the major league career wins list with No. 244. (AP)

Players of the Game
Philadelphia

R. Howard
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Milwaukee

P. Fielder
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B4120000 .232
J.J. Hardy, SS4111022 .283
Ryan Braun, LF4000012 .295
Prince Fielder, 1B2112100 .263
Corey Hart, RF3010102 .280
Mike Cameron, CF4000033 .249
Bill Hall, 3B3010012 .225
   a- Ray Durham, PH1000000 .287
Jason Kendall, C4000003 .251
Ben Sheets, P2000010 .076
   b- Mike Lamb, PH1000001 .234
    Carlos Villanueva, P0000000 .125
Totals3236328  
a-flied out for Hall in the 9th
b-grounded out for Sheets in the 7th
Batting
2B - Rickie Weeks (21, Moyer), Corey Hart (43, Moyer)
HR - J.J. Hardy (24, Moyer), Prince Fielder (29, Moyer)
RBI - J.J. Hardy (70), Prince Fielder 2 (86)
2-OUT RBI - J.J. Hardy (28), Prince Fielder 2 (23)
CS - Corey Hart (6, 3rd base by Moyer/Ruiz)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Ryan Braun 1
E - Carlos Villanueva (1, Throwing)
Milwaukee Brewers
Ben Sheets (L,13-8) 6955341 2.97
Carlos Villanueva 2110030 4.08
IBB - Howard by Ben Sheets
Pitches-Strikes - Ben Sheets 113-70, Carlos Villanueva 26-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ben Sheets 7-6, Carlos Villanueva 3-0
Batters Faced - Ben Sheets 29, Carlos Villanueva 7
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS3120110 .275
Jayson Werth, RF4010012 .275
Chase Utley, 2B4110022 .288
Ryan Howard, 1B3223100 .243
Pat Burrell, LF4000013 .252
    Eric Bruntlett, LF0000000 .215
Shane Victorino, CF4110001 .276
Pedro Feliz, 3B3121000 .254
Carlos Ruiz, C2012100 .232
Jamie Moyer, P2000002 .087
    Ryan Madson, P1000011 .000
    Scott Eyre, P0000000 .000
    Chad Durbin, P0000000 .111
   a- Greg Dobbs, PH1000010 .293
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
Totals31610637  
a-struck out for Durbin in the 8th
Batting
2B - Ryan Howard (25, Sheets), Pedro Feliz (18, Sheets), Carlos Ruiz (13, Sheets)
3B - Jayson Werth (3, Sheets)
HR - Ryan Howard (43, Sheets)
SH - Pedro Feliz (3), Carlos Ruiz (3)
RBI - Ryan Howard 3 (129), Pedro Feliz (52), Carlos Ruiz 2 (26)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Howard 2 (53), Pedro Feliz (20)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Ruiz-Feliz
Philadelphia Phillies
Jamie Moyer (W,14-7) 5.2433152 3.68
Ryan Madson (H,13) 2200020 3.27
Scott Eyre0000100 4.57
Chad Durbin (H,14) 0.1000000 2.80
Brad Lidge (S,36) 1000010 2.04
HBP - Fielder (by Jamie Moyer)
WP - Jamie Moyer (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jamie Moyer 88-57, Ryan Madson 29-20, Scott Eyre 8-4, Brad Lidge 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jamie Moyer 3-8, Ryan Madson 3-1, Chad Durbin 1-0, Brad Lidge 1-1
Batters Faced - Jamie Moyer 22, Ryan Madson 8, Scott Eyre 1, Chad Durbin 1, Brad Lidge 3
Game Information
Attendance - 39994
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Dan Iassogna