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Phillies-Reds: Philadelphia Trumps Reds, 4-3

Kevin McGuireSenior Analyst IMay 20, 2009

Good starting pitching? Check.

Clutch hitting? Check.

Solid three innings from the bullpen? Check.

Last night's terrific pitching matchup between Cole Hamels and the Reds' Johnny Cueto was all it was built up to be. Hamels was dominant, although he did allow three runs to score and yielded two home runs.

The Phillies ace went six full innings and threw a season high 117 pitches. On the night Hamels struck out seven batters, walked two and allowed five hits (two of which were solo home runs).

At the end of the night, Hamels had dropped his ERA down to below five, at 4.95. The lefty also got in the act offensively, helping out with a momentum shifting base hit in the fifth inning.

Ryan Howard hit a home run to lead off the second inning and the Reds' Jay Bruce tied things up with a solo shot of his own in the fourth inning. Responding in the top of the fifth inning the Phillies worked a three run rally.

Pedro Feliz started with a double. Hamels would record his first hit of the season with one out. Jimmy Rollins then brought Feliz home on his only hit of the game. Chase Utley then brought Hamels home with a shot into right field. Rollins would cap the inning off by scoring on a Raul Ibanez sac fly to put the Phillies up 4-1.

The Reds were able to score a pair of runs off of Hamels before the night was done but the bullpen threw three scoreless innings to pick up the win for Hamels. Clay Condrey walked one batter but surrendered no hits.

Ryan Madson allowed one hit but struck out one to hand the game over to Brad Lidge, who recorded his third straight scoreless save. Although Lidge got in a jam with the potential game winning run on first base, he worked out of it to pick up his third straight save since blowing Friday night's save opportunity in Washington.

With the win, accompanied by the Mets losing to the Dodgers, the Phillies took over sole possession of first place. The Phillies are one game in front of the Mets.

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