Philadelphia at Cincinnati

W: C. Lee (15-7) L: D. Willis (0-4)
S: R. Madson (25)
HR: PHI - H. Pence (18)   CIN - None

Lee completes stellar August; Phillies blank Reds again wire reports

CINCINNATI -- Cliff Lee wanted one more out. Instead, the dominating left-hander had to settle for the biggest share of another shutout, one that swept the Philadelphia Phillies to new heights.

Lee won his sixth consecutive start on Wednesday night, coming up one out short of another complete game, and Hunter Pence homered for the second successive game, setting up a 3-0 victory against the Cincinnati Reds that gave the NL East leaders another big number.

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They are 40 games over .500 for the first time this season, holding the majors' best record at 86-46. And there's no wonder why. The Phillies lead the majors with 19 shutouts.

"I didn't know we have 19 shutouts," Lee said. "I know we've got good pitching and any day we're capable of going out and shutting down another offense."

They have blanked the Reds the past two games and allowed a total of two runs and 16 hits while taking the first three games of the series. It's even more impressive considering the Phillies had two unexpected days off over the weekend because of Hurricane Irene, throwing the pitchers' routines out of whack.

"The starters -- it's unbelievable," said closer Ryan Madson, who got the final out. "It just doesn't seem like anything fazes them. They can do anything. And it gives the whole team confidence when they're out there."

Cincinnati entered the series on a hot streak, winning four straight. The Reds ran into an old problem -- they can't do anything against the Phillies' pitching.

The Phillies swept them in the playoffs last season, with Roy Halladay throwing a no-hitter. Philadelphia is 20-6 against Cincinnati lately, including 6-1 this season.

Lee (15-7) gave up only five hits through the first eight innings, then retired the first two batters in the ninth. He gave up Joey Votto's double, walked Jay Bruce and hit Miguel Cairo with his 117th pitch, prompting manager Charlie Manuel to let Madson finish it off.

Lee tried to talk Manuel out of making the pitching change.

"He asked me," Manuel said. "I said I want Madson. He said, 'You're sure?' I said, 'Damn sure.' "

Madson retired pinch-hitter Yonder Alonso on a foul pop for his 25th save in 27 chances. Lee wished he had gotten the chance to get that last, elusive out.

"It's not very often you go 8 2/3 and not give up a run and somehow not feel good about it when it's over," Lee said. "It worked out. Madson came in and got the guy out. It's hard to question the move."

Every time Lee takes the mound these days, it works.

Lee, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on Tuesday, hasn't lost since July 25. The left-hander has given up only six earned runs in his past six starts. He has been especially tough on the road, where he hasn't allowed a run in his past 30 2/3 innings since July 19.

He went 5-0 in June and did an encore by going 5-0 in August.

"I hope I have a good September and October, too," Lee said.

Philadelphia scored in the first inning when the Reds failed to turn a double play with two runners aboard. Pence led off the sixth with his 18th home run off left-hander Dontrelle Willis (0-4), extending his hitting streak to seven games. Philadelphia scored another run on a forceout in the seventh.

No matter how well he pitches or hits, Willis can't get a victory. He gets the lowest run support among Reds starters, and the bullpen has blown save chances in three of his starts.

"Guys on the other side of the diamond are pitching well," Willis said. "So I'm not frustrated. I like being in those type of games anyway."

Earlier Wednesday, the Phillies made a move to strengthen their bench, acquiring outfielder John Bowker from Pittsburgh. Bowker spent most of the season in the minors, batting .306 with 15 home runs.

Bowker bats left-handed and can play left field, right field and first base. He drove over from Triple-A Indianapolis to join the team for the game.


  • Lee was loudly booed in the fourth, when he grounded to second baseman Brandon Phillips, took a couple steps toward first, waved his right hand and headed back to the dugout.
  • Reds SS Paul Janish extended his career-worst slump to 0 for 26.
  • The Phillies have won all seven of their four-game series this season. They have never had a four-game sweep in Cincinnati.
  • The Phillies will start RHP Vance Worley in the final game on Thursday afternoon. Worley had a no-decision in his May 24 start against the Reds, giving up three runs in five innings. The Reds will go with RHP Mike Leake, who has given up 11 runs in 14 1/3 innings of his two starts against Philadelphia.
  • The Reds plan to call up seven players from the minors on Thursday, including C Devin Mesoraco, their top draft pick in 2007. It will be his major-league debut.
Copyright 2017 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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This season, Cliff Lee has ERAs of 0.21 in June, and 0.45 in August, with 5-0 records in each month.  (Getty Images)
This season, Cliff Lee has ERAs of 0.21 in June, and 0.45 in August, with 5-0 records in each month. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game

C. Lee
IP 8.2
H 6
ER 0
BB 1
K 7

H. Pence
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Philadelphia Phillies
Shane Victorino, CF3200213 .305
Placido Polanco, 3B4020113 .277
Chase Utley, 2B5001012 .273
Ryan Howard, 1B5001021 .248
Hunter Pence, RF3111102 .313
John Mayberry Jr., LF3010110 .264
Carlos Ruiz, C4030002 .278
Wilson Valdez, SS4010002 .243
Cliff Lee, P3000012 .210
    Ryan Madson, P0000000 .000
HR - Hunter Pence (18, Willis)
SH - Cliff Lee (4)
RBI - Chase Utley (40), Ryan Howard (103), Hunter Pence (79)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Ruiz-Valdez
Philadelphia Phillies
Cliff Lee (W,15-7) 8.2600170 2.59
Ryan Madson (S,25) 0.1000000 3.02
HBP - Cairo (by Cliff Lee)
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 117-78, Ryan Madson 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 9-8
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 32, Ryan Madson 1
Cincinnati Reds
Brandon Phillips, 2B4000001 .296
Dave Sappelt, LF4010000 .246
Joey Votto, 1B4010010 .325
Jay Bruce, RF3010110 .261
Miguel Cairo, 3B3000021 .264
Drew Stubbs, CF3020010 .251
   a- Yonder Alonso, PH1000003 .389
Ramon Hernandez, C3010001 .288
Paul Janish, SS3000012 .207
Dontrelle Willis, P1000000 .409
    Jose Arredondo, P0000000 .500
   b- Todd Frazier, PH1000011 .222
    Aroldis Chapman, P0000000 .000
a-fouled out for Stubbs in the 9th
b-struck out for Arredondo in the 8th
2B - Joey Votto (31, Lee)
SH - Dontrelle Willis (3)
CS - Dave Sappelt (1, 2nd base by Lee/Ruiz)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Janish-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
Dontrelle Willis (L,0-4) 6.2533561 4.10
Jose Arredondo 1.1200000 3.14
Aroldis Chapman 1100010 3.76
WP - Dontrelle Willis (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Dontrelle Willis 120-66, Jose Arredondo 23-17, Aroldis Chapman 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dontrelle Willis 12-3, Jose Arredondo 2-1
Batters Faced - Dontrelle Willis 31, Jose Arredondo 5, Aroldis Chapman 4
Game Information
Attendance - 18567
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - Derryl Cousins, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - D.J. Reyburn, Third Base - Ron Kulpa