He did it again.
For the second time since joining the Phillies, Cliff Lee pitched a gem, resulting in a two-hit, no earned runs complete game, handing the Phillies a stress-free victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Just for good measure, Lee tacked on a pair of base hits to make up for the two hits he allowed in the game.
The rest of the Phillies' offense was not too shabby, either. Jayson Werth hit a pair of home runs, with the first bouncing off the brick ivy-covered wall in center field. Chase Utley got the scoring started in the third inning with a two-run shot off of Diamondbacks starter Dan Haren.
Two innings later, Ryan Howard connected for a three-run home run to give the Phillies a 5-1 lead, and Werth followed with his first home run of the night to make it 6-1.
Werth had a 3-for-4 night and saw just 10 pitches in the game. Each player in the starting lineup recorded a base hit except for third baseman Pedro Feliz.
The new fan favorite in the starting rotation flirted with a no-hitter for a while. Arizona second baseman Ryan Roberts led off the fourth inning with a hot shot down the third base line that could have been called a hit, but with the no-hitter intact, the hometown scorekeeper opted to give Feliz an error. It was a tough call to make, but the basic rule of thumb is you want the no-hitter to be broken up by a no-doubt-about-it hit.
Lee took that no-hitter into the sixth inning. First baseman Chad Tracy entered the game to pinch hit for Haren, and as fate would have it, he broke up Lee's no-hitter with a single right up the middle and into center field.
Phillies fans gave Lee a partial standing ovation, as they have come to respect his abilities and work ethic in his brief stint with the club.
When all was said and done, Lee pitched a complete game, struck out 11 batters, walked none, and allowed two base hits. He did hit one batter, and one run scored that was unearned.
For Lee, it was his 12th career complete game and his second career multi-hit game. Lee went 0-for-5 in interleague games with the Cleveland Indians this season, but with the Phillies, he is currently hitting .385 with five hits in 13 at bats. Of those hits, two are doubles.
Do not epect to see that kind of offensive firepower forever, but enjoy it now.
The Phillies are now 31-29 at home and increased their lead in the NL East over the Florida Marlins with the win. Florida dropped a game in Houston, which puts them five 5 1/2 games behind the Phillies.