The Phillies swept a day-night doubleheader from the Florida Marlins Thursday, thanks to a dazzling performance by Cliff Lee and a key, extra-inning hit from Ryan Howard.
After Kyle Kendrick and the bullpen kept the Marlins at bay in the afternoon tilt, Lee took the hill for the nightcap and showed everyone why the National League Cy Young race is still far from over, tossing nine innings, allowing just five hits and walking none while putting down 12 via the strikeout.
Lee's only blemish came with two outs and two strikes in the ninth when Joe Lopez lifted a homer to left that tied the score at one-all -- costing Lee his seventh complete game shutout.
Lee's counterpart, young right-hander Alex Sanabia, proved to be the foil for the Phillies offense, whose struggles with the bats continued, as they squeezed out all of one run in the first nine frames, thanks to a solo homer from John Mayberry, his 14th of the season.
While the offense had their hands full with the Marlins righty, who allowed one run over six innings, Lee was busy dominating the Fish -- setting down 12 in a row before he allowed the two-out homer in the ninth.
It was all Lee for the first eight and two thirds, but the ace needed his offense to bail him out in extra innings, and they were more than happy to oblige in the bottom of the 10th. Howard hit a double off Marlins reliever Burke Badenhop (2-2) to left center that scored Michael Martinez -- who walked to lead off the inning -- from first base to give the Phillies the 2-1 win.
With this win, which was the first career win for Phils reliever Michael Schwimer, who pitched a perfect 10th, the Phillies' magic number to win the division drops to two, meaning they could wrap things up as early as Friday night with a win and a Braves loss.
The Phillies will host the St. Louis Cardinals in a four-game set that kicks off on Friday night at CBP as Vance Worley (11-2, 2.92) takes on Jamie Garcia (12-7, 3.68).