Lee Pitches, Hits His Way Past the Reds

Cliff Lee throws Day Game
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To say the past 24 hours of Phillies baseball have been strange might be a bit of an understatement.

Following Wednesday night's 19-inning marathon game that saw Wilson Valdez pick up the win after throwing a scoreless inning against the heart of the Reds' order, the Phillies got an offensive boost from an another unlikely source -- Cliff Lee.

The left-handed ace picked up his fourth win of the season, but his biggest contribution of the day was probably his 2-for-3 effort at the plate that saw him drive in three in the Phillies' 10-4 win in the series finale against the Reds.

After the Phillies took a 4-0 lead in the early goings thanks to a RBI double from Ryan Howard and later, a three-run homer from Raul Ibanez, it looked like an easy afternoon ballgame chaser following the six-hour contest that finished up some 11 hours earlier.

But the Reds crawled their way back into it, starting with a two-out, two-RBI single from Paul Janish to cut the lead in half, but it was Jay Bruce's two-run dinger in the sixth that made it a whole new ball game.

That's when Lee (4-4) took matters into his own hands.

Following a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases in the bottom of the sixth, Lee lifted a deep fly ball to center that hopped over the wall for a ground rule double to give the Phillies a two-run lead. He would add another hit to his ledger in the seventh -- an RBI single to put the Phils up by a score of 8-4.

Michael Martinez (who gave Jimmy Rollins a breather at shortstop) would drive in his second run of the day one batter later, and Chase Utley would notch his first homer of the season with a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth to cap the scoring at 10 runs -- the Phils second double digit offensive outburst of the series.

It was more than enough for the Lee, who allowed four runs over his eight innings of work while striking out eight. He turned the ball over to Jose Contreras, who pitched a perfect ninth in his first appearance since being activated from the disabled list earlier in the day.

After struggling with the offense for so much of the past few weeks, the Phillies have emerged from their much talked about rough patch with the best record in the National League (31-19) and winners of five of their last seven.

Reds Daryl Thompson gave up five runs on six hits in three innings of relief for his first loss of the season.

The Phillies head to New York for a three game set with the Mets (23-25), with Roy Oswalt (3-2, 2.77) taking the hill on Friday opposite Chris Capuano (3-5, 5.36).

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