Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee improved to 7-5 with a complete-game shutout over the Florida Marlins Thursday afternoon. The 3-0 win was the seventh in a row for Philadelphia, and the loss was the seventh in a row for Florida.
Lee gave up just two hits while walking two and striking out four in his second complete game of the season. Lee did not give up his first hit until the fifth inning.
The Phillies scored their first run the bottom of the fourth when Lee doubled in Michael Martinez off of Marlin’s starter Javier Vazquez. Vazquez took the loss and fell to 3-7 on the year.
Philadelphia scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings off of home run by Ryan Howard and an RBI double by Jimmy Rollins.
Lee’s sinker worked well, inducing one double play and got 12 groundball outs in the game. After a rough end to the month of May, Lee has given up just one run in three starts in June. Lee’s ERA has fallen from 3.94 to 3.12 since May 31.
Lee went 2-for-3 with an RBI at the plate, and Shane Victorino went 2-for-4. Dominic Brown and Michael Martinez each went 1-for-4 with one run scored in the game. Ryan Howard went 1-for-3 with a HR and a walk.
With the win the Phillies improved to 44-26 on the season, and moved 5.5 games ahead of the Braves for first place in the NL East. The four-game sweep of the Marlins gave Philadelphia a 7-2 advantage in the season series.