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Philadelphia (72-71) «00000120x342

Phils sweep Marlins, win seventh straight

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- Jimmy Rollins swigged champagne after winning a division title, went wild when the Phillies won the National League pennant, and took a ride on that unforgettable parade down the heart of Philadelphia after a World Series championship.

The Phillies have done it all the last five years.

Well, except win a wild card berth.

Rollins connected on a two-run homer and Cliff Lee pitched seven strong innings to lead the streaking Phillies to their seventh straight win, 3-1 over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday.

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The second NL wild-card spot is firmly in sight for the Phillies with 19 games remaining.

"We're in it," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We're dead in it pretty good."

Oh yes, they are. And they show no signs of slowing down.

The Phillies continued their late push with a three-game sweep of the Marlins. Up next for the Phillies, four games in Houston against the NL-worst Astros. Then it's three games in New York against the going-nowhere Mets.

Philadelphia pulled within three games of St. Louis for the second wild card after the Cardinals lost 3-2 in San Diego.

The Phillies (72-71) are on a season-best winning streak and have won 15 of 19 to move over .500 for the first time since they were 28-27 on June 3.

"If we can continue to play the way we have since the All-Star break, we have a pretty good chance," Lee said.

The clubhouse TVs had on a pair of games that will shape the NL wild-card race: St. Louis at San Diego and Pittsburgh at Cincinnati.

The Phillies will have to at least get past the Cardinals and Pirates, two fading teams, to snag a postseason spot.

This September has a familiar feel from 2007 when the Phillies trailed the Mets by seven games with 17 to play. The Mets collapsed and the Phillies would win their first division title since 1993.

With Manuel calmly leading the way, the Phillies haven't skipped a postseason since, winning the World Series in 2008.

"We're in it pretty good," Manuel said.

Phillippe Aumont worked a scoreless eighth and Jonathan Papelbon completed the four-hitter with his 34th save. Papelbon fanned Gorkys Hernandez with two runners on to end it.

The five-time defending NL East champions have made an amazing run since they seemed out of contention at 37-51 on July 13. Fueled by a rotation that has found its groove, and unexpected contributions from role players, the Phillies have become one of the hottest teams in baseball.

Their 15-4 record since Aug. 23 is the best in the National League and they are 21-8 in their last 29 home games.

Josh Johnson (8-12) did his best to shut down the Phillies early, taking a no-hitter and a 1-0 lead into the sixth.

Rollins led off the inning with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice and scored on John Mayberry Jr.'s two-out single to center.

With Ryan Howard and Chase Utley slumping, the Phillies have relied on clutch hits from unheralded players like Mayberry during this recent streak. Mayberry beat Colorado on Sunday with the winning single in the ninth inning.

But it's the stars like Rollins, who declined to talk to the media, who still need to shine during the stretch drive.

Lee (5-7) seemed headed toward a tough luck no-decision until the offense came through with timely hits in the seventh.

Pinch hitting for Lee, Pete Orr hit a two-out single. Rollins followed with his 19th homer, a two-run shot to right, that sent the late-afternoon crowd into a frenzy and gave the Phillies a 3-1 lead.

With little expected at the start of September, the Phillies are playing loose and having fun.

"Nobody's saying we've got to win 20 in a row," Orr said.

Lee struck out the side in the fourth inning and fanned Hernandez to open the fifth. He tossed four-hit ball and struck out six in seven innings to earn only his second home victory of the season.

Lee has regained his Cy Young form after making 13 starts to open the season without a win. He also had a stint on the disabled list and even had a 10-inning scoreless outing wasted against San Francisco when the Giants won 1-0 in the 11th.

"It's their pitching, that's how they're back in it," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said.

Lee allowed only an unearned run in the sixth after two straight Marlins batters reached on errors.

Rollins, who leads all NL shortstops in fielding percentage, booted Donovan Solo's grounder. Jose Reyes hit a one-hopper that Lee snagged wide of the mound, whirled around and threw wide to second for an error. Carlos Lee followed two batters later with an RBI single to right for the 1-0 lead.

That's the kind of sloppy play that might have done in the Phillies before the All-Star break.

Not this month.

Notes

  • The Phillies are on their longest winning streak since a nine-game run from July 29-Aug. 6, 2011.
  • Philadelphia's starting pitchers are 15-5 over the last 28 games.
  • The Marlins head home to start a three-game series with the Reds.
  • Marlins RF Justin Ruggiano was ejected in the second inning for arguing balls and strikes.
 
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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Jimmy Rollins comes through for the red-hot Phillies with a go-ahead two-run shot in the seventh inning. (Getty Images)
Jimmy Rollins comes through for the red-hot Phillies with a go-ahead two-run shot in the seventh inning. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Philadelphia

J. Rollins
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Philadelphia

C. Lee
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 1
K 6
 
Miami Marlins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Gorkys Hernandez, CF5000023 .158
Donovan Solano, 2B4100001 .287
Jose Reyes, SS3000101 .277
Giancarlo Stanton, RF4010013 .283
Carlos Lee, 1B4021001 .275
Justin Ruggiano, LF1000012 .318
    Austin Kearns, LF2000002 .242
John Buck, C3000122 .199
Donnie Murphy, 3B3000023 .205
    Greg Dobbs, 3B1000011 .304
Josh Johnson, P3010011 .100
    Ryan Webb, P0000000 .000
   a- Bryan Petersen, PH0000100 .223
Totals33141310  
a-walked for Webb in the 9th
Batting
RBI - Carlos Lee (68)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee (22)
Team LOB - 9
Miami Marlins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Josh Johnson (L,8-12) 7433361 3.81
Ryan Webb 1000110 4.07
HBP - Utley (by Josh Johnson)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Johnson 115-64, Ryan Webb 18-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Johnson 11-4, Ryan Webb 1-1
Batters Faced - Josh Johnson 29, Ryan Webb 4
Philadelphia Phillies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jimmy Rollins, SS4222000 .249
Juan Pierre, LF3000000 .306
    Nate Schierholtz, RF0000000 .242
Chase Utley, 2B2000110 .254
Ryan Howard, 1B4000023 .227
John Mayberry Jr., CF2011210 .255
Domonic Brown, RF-LF3000103 .248
Erik Kratz, C3000022 .256
Michael Martinez, 3B3000000 .156
Cliff Lee, P2000012 .179
   a- Pete Orr, PH1110000 .298
    Phillippe Aumont, P0000000 .000
    Jonathan Papelbon, P0000000 .000
Totals2734347  
a-singled for Lee in the 7th
Batting
HR - Jimmy Rollins (19, Johnson)
SH - Juan Pierre (13)
RBI - Jimmy Rollins 2 (60), John Mayberry Jr. (42)
2-OUT RBI - Jimmy Rollins 2 (23), John Mayberry Jr. (23)
SB - Pete Orr (2, 2nd base off Johnson/Buck)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Cliff Lee (2, Throwing), Jimmy Rollins (12, Misplayed grounder)
Philadelphia Phillies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Cliff Lee (W,5-7) 7410160 3.36
Phillippe Aumont (H,3) 1000110 1.08
Jonathan Papelbon (S,34) 1000130 2.44
HBP - Kearns (by Jonathan Papelbon)
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 107-72, Phillippe Aumont 14-7, Jonathan Papelbon 19-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 9-8, Phillippe Aumont 2-0
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 28, Phillippe Aumont 4, Jonathan Papelbon 5
Game Information
Attendance - 42178
Game Time - 2:45
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Clint Fagan, First Base - Cory Blaser, Second Base - Mike Winters, Third Base - Mark Wegner