MILWAUKEE -- Raul Ibanez reached second after a small bobble. Carlos Ruiz laid down a crucial bunt. It is the little things that the Philadelphia Phillies keep excelling at as they run away with the National League.
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"It worked out well for us," Ibanez said. "This team is always trying to find a way to win, however that is, sometimes it's not exactly how you plan it, but it works out."
The NL East-leading Phillies are on pace for their best season in franchise history and could clinch a playoff berth on Sunday with a win and a loss by St. Louis. Philadelphia can complete a four-game sweep against Milwaukee on Sunday.
"Hopefully we do," Phillies starter Cliff Lee said. "It's not like we felt like we had to come in here and sweep them to make a statement, it's just playing the way we play and it's kind of the way it's turned out."
"I'm happy with that number," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "That's what we play for. If we could be 20 up, we would be."
Casey McGehee scored a run in a plate collision with Ruiz and drove in another off Lee to end his scoreless innings streak at 30 2/3.
But Milwaukee lost its fifth straight as its NL Central lead dropped to six games with the Cardinals' 4-3 win over the Braves.
In the 10th, Ibanez led off with a double against Hawkins (1-1) after right fielder Corey Hart bobbled the ball just a little, allowing him to reach second.
Ibanez scored when Ruiz laid down a bunt, and Hawkins took a bad angle, thinking McGehee would field the ball from third. He then fired well over Prince Fielder's head at first for an error.
"I think he thought Casey was going to get it. Casey thought he was going to get it," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "That's a bunt that's in between the spot where Casey thinks the pitcher is going to get, we have a shot at third, which he did. It's a judgment play."
Philadelphia has dominated two of the other three NL playoff contenders over the last six games, also sweeping Atlanta.
"When you get into October, it's a completely new season," Ibanez said. "You try not to look into it or buy into it too much. You just feel good about the day, and tomorrow's a new game."
The Brewers, meanwhile, have their smallest division lead since Aug. 14.
"They're down. I'm down," Roenicke said. "It's a tough loss. This was a hard one to lose. There were a lot of positives things. That's why it's disappointing to lose."
McGehee reached second on a throwing error before his vicious forearm blow tied it in the second inning. Yuniesky Betancourt singled and Ruiz got center fielder Shane Victorino's throw in plenty of time and had the plate blocked well.
But McGehee lowered his body and slammed his forearms into the catcher's mask to jar the ball free, then popped up and let out an emotional scream with both fists clinched tightly for a team that's sputtering at the wrong time.
"If I was the runner, I would've done the same thing," said Ruiz, who joked that it felt good. "He asked me next at-bat, 'Are you OK?' And I said, 'Yes, thank you for asking me.' It's a part of the game."
McGehee's RBI groundout in the fourth made it 2-1, but Polanco and the Phillies answered.
Polanco's homer just over the left field wall off Brewers starter Randy Wolf in the fifth was his first since June 10, and Lee escaped major trouble in the seventh to end his night.
Carlos Gomez singled with one out and stole second. Pinch hitter Rickie Weeks, playing for the first time since July 27, walked and left for a pinch runner. But Milwaukee failed to score after Jonathan Lucroy and Hart hit deep fly balls to end the inning.
With the one earned run, Lee's ERA rose to 0.48 over 56 2/3 innings since the start of August. He failed to win a start for the first time since July 25.
Phillies slugger Ryan Howard (heel) was given an extra day out of the starting lineup, but entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth and struck out. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins (groin) pinch hit in the 10th and grounded out, marking his first appearance in a game since Aug. 21 after he was activated on Thursday.
"It's a credit to the depth we've got," Lee said. "Our pitching's been pretty good this series and we've got guys that can fill those spots pretty well."
- Pence homered in the first.
- Phillies 2B Chase Utley (concussion) will be re-evaluated next week. The Phillies say it's unlikely he'll join the team in Houston, but his recovery has been very positive so far and they're being cautious.
- Weeks (left ankle) played in a simulated game beforehand and pinch hit in the seventh.
- The Brewers called up RHP Mike Fiers and had him pitch in a simulated game to Weeks. Fiers is expected to be available out of the bullpen on Tuesday.
- Sunday's finale features Brewers RHP Yovani Gallardo (15-10, 3.71 ERA) against Phillies RHP Vance Worley (11-1, 2.85).